Nkhetheni Muthavhi, the Deputy General Secretary has emerged as a passionate and influential leader dedicated to advancing the rights and welfare of local government employees. With a remarkable journey rooted in education, experience, and a deep commitment to social justice, Muthavhi has become a catalyst for positive change within SAMWU and the broader labor movement.
Born in a small village near Thoyandou, Venda, Limpopo, Muthavhi’s early years instilled in him a strong work ethic and a thirst for knowledge. He attended Tshadama Secondary School before pursuing higher education at Technikon Northern Gauteng, where he earned a National Diploma in Municipal Administration. His thirst for knowledge led him to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and he recently further honed his skills through a post-graduate diploma in Labor Relations from the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Muthavhi began his working career as a petrol attendant in Pretoria North from 1993 to 2003. In 2003, he joined Magnet Projects, a labor broker contracted to the City of Tshwane, where he worked at the Pretoria West Power Station.
Over the years, he steadily advanced in his career, assuming roles such as Boiler and Turbine Attendant, Control Room Operator, and eventually Superintendent for Production at the power station, a position he continues to hold.
Muthavhi’s involvement in politics and union activism started during his high school days when he became part of the School Representative Council (SRC).
He was a member of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and later joined the South African Students Congress (SASCO) while attending university. He played a pivotal role in reviving the Youth League of the African National Congress (ANC) and was also an active participant in the Student Christian Movement (SCO).
In 2004, Muthavhi joined SAMWU as an ordinary member, steadily rising through the ranks. He served as Deputy Chairperson of the local structure from 2005 to 2011 and was subsequently elected as Deputy Regional Chairperson.
His dedication and leadership qualities led to his election as the Chairperson of the City of Tshwane region in 2013, he also served as the Union’s Chairperson in Gauteng.
As the Deputy General Secretary of SAMWU, Muthavhi is responsible sits in the Executive Committee, Central Committee, and Bargaining Committee of the Amanzi Bargaining Council (ABC). He has outlined a clear vision and mission for the union’s future. He envisions a revitalization of the union’s working operations through the implementation of a robust digital systems platform.
His goal is to create a digital space where all members can easily join the union, fostering inclusivity and accessibility. Additionally, Muthavhi recognizes the importance of effective communication between Office Bearers and members.
To achieve this, he advocates for the development of a digital platform that enables seamless engagement, allowing members to ask questions and receive instant responses.
Furthermore, Muthavhi believes in providing a centralized hub of information and support for the Union’s members.
By embracing digital technologies, Muthavhi aims to enhance the union’s efficiency, transparency, and member engagement, ultimately empowering the workforce and strengthening the collective voice of the union.
The importance of sustainability by advocating for the union to establish an investment arm, reducing reliance on membership subscriptions is one way that Muthavhi which believes will relieve the Union of its financial pressures.
He is passionate about reviving the training of Shopstewards to equip them with updated knowledge and skills in the legislative framework of labor relations. this will enable them to effectively address workplace disputes at the local level.
Muthavhi strongly believes in the empowerment of women within SAMWU’s hierarchy and seeks to increase their representation. Additionally, he actively encourages the participation of young workers, recognizing their valuable perspectives and contributions.
His ultimate goal is to position SAMWU as the Union of choice in the Local Government sector, driving forward the organization and advocating for the rights and well-being of its members.