17 May 2023
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) lowers its flag as we mourn the passing of the organisation’s former general secretary, Dennis George. George was 65 years old at the time of his passing and leaves behind a legacy of commitment to workers’ rights throughout his career in the labour movement in South Africa and beyond. George was a marketing consultant at Sanlam when he was recruited by the Transport and Allied Trade Union to work as an organiser. He was later appointed General Secretary of FEDUSA in 1998 after serving in other roles in the federation.
George’s passion for education was witnessed in how he selflessly dedicated himself while working as National Training Officer at FEDUSA. We later witnessed this passion when he continued with studies to complete a Masters degree and later a PhD. His tenure as General Secretary of FEDUSA for over 20 years was categorised by many victories for workers which manifested in the growth of the federation.
He also represented the organisation with excellence when serving nationally in platforms such as the National Economic Development and Labour Council, the National Skills Authority, the National Board for Further Education and Training among others. Globally, George was actively engaged in committees at the International Labour Organisation, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the International Trade Union Confederation, among others.
FEDUSA remembers George as a committed leader of the working class, who was a great champion of worker unity, starting with collaboration between the country’s different labour formations. He was full of life till the very end, always with a smile on his face as he travelled to every corner of the country in service of affiliates and members alike. During his tenure as general secretary of FEDUSA, he was always eager to form working relationships with business, government, other unions and the media fraternity.
A dedicated activist at heart, he had always called for all major stakeholders to increase their participation in schemes aimed at addressing national, company and shop-floor level issues for the sake of the country’s economic growth. His goal had always been to promote the interest and rights of works while enhancing social justice and the country’s economic prosperity. George was a truly patriotic South African. Throughout his years at the helm of the federation, he never expressed doubt about the country’s future. He was always positive and forward looking, believing that there is nothing that can stand in the way of the good intentions of the many who work hard for the country’s prosperity.
FEDUSA honours George for his dedication to the growth of the South African organised labour movement. We will honour his memory by forever remaining true to the core of the work of unions, which is to serve members with distinction.
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Ms Riefdah Ajam
FEDUSA General Secretary
079 696 2625
Mr Ashley Benjamin
FEDUSA Deputy General Secretary
083 258 4433