LED Grow Lights

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Optimal 8-band spectrum IR and UV light

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Although we are not essentially dismissive of LED fixtures manufactured in China, these grow lights are not recommended not recommended for those who want something more out of their crops. On the other hand, they will allow newbies on a budget to enter the world of growing smoothly and without worry.

The unit is fan-cooled with fans reaching 55DB in max power and has a reflector that controls light distance and area. The most striking feature about these lights is its highly efficient fixture with optics that help in giving direction to the light for improved penetration and more rapid growth; this fixture can be utilized in the various stages of plant growth.

The grow lights can be controlled remotely, and they are daisy-chainable as well. The remote control extra is welcome for bigger crops, as it allows a more hands-off experience. Made of aluminum and glass , this fixture is quite durable. Its low heat output reduces the need for cooling and ventilation. These lights can be used in greenhouses, plant factories, and nurseries. Detailed Specs Actual Draw in Watts: Enhanced Full Spectrum, engineered growth, and flowering.

The center COB provides a full spectrum of high power lighting optimized for plant growth. The supplemental LED have wavelengths of nm, nm, nm, nm, nm, nm, and white. Aluminum and Glass Dimmable: What they offer is a lightweight and powerful LED panel, which is also completely remote controlled! The unit is lightweight 5.

For over 9 years they have been producing a lot of OEM product for various organizations and companies all over the world. The specially designed reflectors blend the wavelengths while directing the light down to your plants. All Unit Farm models feature a switch between Growth and Bloom modes to conserve energy and aid the plant according to its development. MarsHydro is a well-known brand in the hydroponic growing world, often associated with affordable LED grow lights.

However, this drop in price does not necessarily equal a lack of quality. The Reflector Series is a popular series among growers. This particular product comprises of 96x5W diodes and has an actual power draw of W. Mars Hydro are upfront about the actual wattage and they clearly state it on the product description.

Each LED chip features a reflector hence the name that mixes the emitting light and distributes it equally all over the canopy. The spectrum of the Mars Hydro Reflector uses 10 bands of light nm, nm nm, nm including white and infrared nm range, which is invisible to the naked human eye.

The full spectrum of light will allow you to grow your plant from seedling to the vegetative stage and flowering without much effort. Even though it is not fancy, the heat management is adequate in this model. This fixture comes with a 2-year warranty and there are dedicated repair centers in the United Kingdom and Germany. All of the LED grow lights we presented above are trustworthy solutions for your indoor garden. This full spectrum grow light has a W power draw and a really low cost per true watt ratio.

MarsHydro is very responsive to messages and they will be happy to answer whatever question you might have. In all, this is a solid option for beginners or growers on a tight budget. A single unit will replace a W HID fixture , for a drastically reduced cost, while all models come with a 5-year manufacturers warranty.

Finally, for the last category, we saved the place for the most luxurious of the LED grow lights we presented: Built for commercial purposes and advanced growers, this unit has the ultimate specs: Full-spectrum, a 5-year warranty, amazing build quality and an extremely powerful mCOB design for optimal light intensity and penetration. There are many LED grow lights on the market, so there is a chance we missed a great unit.

Tell us which light you would like to see featured on this list and we will get our hands on one. We have rounded up the best and newest LED grow lights we have found across the world. We aim to review only well built, high broad full spectrum LEDs with an eye on fan-less hat management.

We also communicate with the manufacturers and ask them questions you guys want to know the answers too. Here we go, in no particular order. Designed to offer specialized support to your plants depending on their grow phase, the all-new G and the G , succeed in creating a perfect combination of power , safety and yield maximization , suited both to professional and amateur growers.

It covers an area of 20ft 2 2m 2 — about 10 fully grown plants and is larger than its predecessor. It offers an optimal rate of 8 bands of the color spectrum, with an emphasis on UV and extra red wavelengths to maximize yield. Using an actual power draw of W , this full-spectrum grow light has an output of W , that can easily replace more powerful MH or HPS fixtures at W. While it is an almost standard marketing practice for manufacturers to not release the actual power draw of their products, this is not true for Dorm Grow.

The data advertised are in line with our own calculations, so that is an extra plus regarding their credibility. The GB is ideal for the flowering stage of your plants and therefore offers an increased UV lighting and emits more red wavelengths.

Note that the GRR is not needed when using this grow light, as it packs quite a punch by itself. The G can be used as one-size fits all solution, although some experimenting might get you more bang for your buck if you know what you are doing. Just remember to pull turn the switch when flowering starts! Due to the 3W Bridgelux diodes used in all Dorm Grow products, the lights run at cool temperatures, eliminating the need for noisy and energy-consuming fans.

Although it is among the very few European grow lights manufacturers, the company has been working hard to increase its presence in the world market. They are not newbies in this game either: High qualified staff, know-how and expanded photometric laboratory allow us to develop and improve a whole range of products.

High innovation of our solutions and their quality is appreciated both by thousands of satisfied users, industry experts and international leaders of the market. Although in this case we will be presenting the W model which stands as a true replacement of a traditional HPSW fixture , LED fixtures from Neonica company come as a pleasant surprise: The lack of detailed information on the web only made matters worse.

Based on our own calculations, the actual wattage is around W. Its LEDs do not emit much heat radiation so that the lamp can be installed very close to plants without having to worry about their condition. Also by working at a much lower temperature Growy LED fixtures drastically decrease the consumption of water needed to grow. However, if you so wish, you can use different focusing optics, allowing for individual adjustment of Growy LED to a different style.

Information about their product series was scarce and their social media presence is scanty, to say the least they have disabled comments in their YouTube channel and their FB page looks neglected. However, their website is regularly updated, so you can easily find out information about shipping details.

MAX is the pinnacle of this philosophy. This LED panel has been designed to generate virtually no heat and therefore it does not require external cooling fans — a factor that significantly lowers energy costs. Also, it is worth mentioning that the technology between the ProMax grow lights, enables them to work equally well in both the Growth and Flowering stages , meaning that you can just plug the light and just never change the settings.

The lights themselves are designed by Eco-Light products, a company that has more than three decades of experience in specialty lighting manufacturing, all in US soil.

Perhaps the fact that the people at NASA have been using their products to conduct research on their study for plant growth in space says everything there is to know about them: We use the most advanced LED diodes on the market which are significantly more efficient and allow Pro MAX Grow lights to produce more usable light power while drawing less wattage than traditional LED grow light fixtures that draw much higher wattage.

Turns out that Christie was completely sincere in her answer. Christie also answered some of our questions regarding the LED lights quality and the color spectrum:. Our chip produces a white color in order to permit accurate plant health evaluation. However, within the white color that is projected, we hit the peak spectrums along with the ancillary spectrums required to produce quality, high yielding crops. Our cultivators love us for our full spectrum technology. You cannot select a specific spectrum, because by choosing only one spectrum you are going to negatively impact the other spectrums and negatively affect the spectrum which would cause a gap in the band.

It goes without saying that this is suitable for all phases of plant development. That means that you can grow 12 good-sized plants in a space this size. MAX reviews are unanimously declaring it as one of the most successful LED grow lights that have ever been produced:. This high-end fixture was built by the same brilliant minds that helped astronauts aboard the International Space Station grow their own food. VividGro is incredibly energy efficient and it is optimized for all horticultural activities, so feel free to grow a healthy batch of tomatoes along with your MJ with this.

As the urban population centers continue to flourish and higher demand is placed on growth of specific plants, such as in the cannabis industry, indoor horticulture will require more quality, energy efficient lighting, like that provided by our VividGro V2 LED Grow fixture.

This model uses a passive, fan-less cooling method, that is both quieter and more energy efficient. Note that the V2 qualifies for utility rebates , so check with your energy provider for specific instructions and info. The solution to this problem was the development of a light with a spectrum, coverage and temperature specifically designed to ensure plant growth and not object illumination. V2 uses seven-band wavelength spectrum and their color bands are at:.

The light is engineered to penetrate down into and across the canopy, without sacrificing PAR efficacy. Truth Lighting has spent over 10 years on research and development for their next grow light.

By looking at the M16, we can definitely say that this was time well spent. This system ensures that your plants will always absorb the optimal amount of light. Whether on vegging of flowering period, the M16 has been proven to easily outperform W HID setups. Perhaps one of the best points about any of Truth Lighting LED panels is that they are completely modular and customizable. In the unlikely event of a failure, every part is easily replaceable although failure is not a very common occurrence with Truth Lighting products.

This feature allows growers to have more vertical space — and grow larger plants. According to the manufacturer, keeping the light at this distance optimizes the absorption of PAR and promises a generally healthier and higher yielding harvest. The M16 is also incredibly easy to set up: If you need to expand or modify your setup, more modules are available through Truth Lighting. When combined with the traditional benefits of LEDs such as energy savings, safety, durability and life span, Truth Lighting LEDs quickly become the obvious choice for cultivation professionals concerned with the quality of their product and the health of their plants.

The people at Truth Lighting claimed that W is the actual output of the product. However, we have to mention that reports from reviewers and growers, suggest that W might be a more realistic expectation for this setup. Multiple; for vegetative growth and flowering. The spectrum on this light is trying to focus on chlorophyll a and b, with a strong spike in the blue and two spikes in the reds around and about nanometers and in the low blues at nm.

The fixture is cooled by an arrangement of 6 x mm internal Thermal Management fans that are quiet as much as they are effective in providing fresh air to the aluminum heat sinks.

These keep the unit running at internal temperatures of 86 to Truth Lighting tells us that their fixtures do not have dimmers, but dual power switches which allow for partial illumination of the fixture, or as they put it:.

The M9 is capable of running with four modules or with five modules and then full power with all nine modules illuminated. The warranty package of the M16 is also very impressive and includes a three-year manufacturer guarantee of your investment. Practically, this means that if anything fails, you can contact the company and they will have you covered.

Big deep green leaves, huge thick buds. Read about the light in High Times and decided to purchase. So happy I did. Black Dog is trying to set the record straight about LED grow lights. They have started by naming all their lights accurately based on their actual Watts. Part of our challenge is to educate people.

Everything is based on research and trials. There is a lot of misinformation being spread out there which we are trying to fight our way through. They strive for transparency, which starts with disclosure of the actual Watts and carries all the way through to their stellar warranty, which is the best available.

There are high output 5 Watt LEDs. It covers UV light which increases THC and CBD content, boosts terpenes and flavonoids for better taste and boosts antioxidants, vitamins and pigmentation of buds. Black Dog uses one of the most effective active heat management set-ups in the LED industry, with ultra-quiet, durable fans to maximize the life of your light.

While a secondary lens may look nice in the stats, it actually decreases the footprint of the grow light. Black Dog is the only company that gives footprint information specifically for growing marijuana.

They have had the footprint of their lights independently tested with light spectrometers. These tests have shown that they have large, even footprints with no hotspots. If you ever decide to grow something else under these lights hey, you may decide you want hydroponic tomatoes this winter!

It also discusses adjustments for growing auto-flowering varieties. Black Dog offers the best warranty available for LED grow lights. It is a limited lifetime warranty which features:. As Patrick from Black Dog explained, five years is a lifetime when it comes to technology. Most clients want to upgrade to the latest LED grow light before then, and Black Dog has you covered there too. This means significant amounts of credit when you upgrade to a new LED grow light.

It features UVB supplementation to inhibit mold and mildew while increasing potency. The mode settings make it easy to switch back and forth from vegging to flowering spectrums. This is an efficient, reliable and well-designed LED grow light from a very dependable company. This gives them 1. It features dominant wavelengths at:. There is a switchable feature which allows you to turn the UVB light on and off as you choose.

UVB exposure will increase yields and reduce the risk of bud rot. Unless mold is a serious issue in your grow room, you do not need to leave the UVB light on at all times and can turn it off to save energy.

The Solar Storm uses no lens, just a glass dust shield. This maximizes the efficiency of the light. Durable power coated aluminum and sheet metal construction with a sealed electronics section make the Solar Storm a tough light that will last. They build all their LED boards in-house to assure the highest quality.

Top notch product, top notch manufacturer and service. Gives HP and MH lights an honest run for the money. Company reps provide great support and a 3 year warranty. Be ready to have your expectations exceeded and your growing space cooled, all in one day! They have a sound reputation for producing high quality lights that last. Make your grow easy using a single light for all stages from seedling to the end of flowering.

This means no wasted light. For you that means a lower electric bill, higher yields and a better final product. They include UV and IR light, which not only improve photosynthesis but also fight mold and boost the terpene content of your buds. Dorm Grow stands by their lights because they know they have a quality product.

As Robert from Dorm Grow explained,. The G8 grow lights feature 90 and degree angled lenses for optimal direction of light into the plant canopy. Dorm Grow produces only high quality LED grow lights. These are heavy duty lights, designed and built to last. Both models come with a 2 Year Warranty, plus a 90 day money back guarantee , giving you a full flowering cycle to test out the lights.

Dorm Grow is known for their great customer service. Hands down best growing system for the money actually saves me money! Very few led systems are able to match the yield of sodium lights but G8 has done it. Using their system I used the and added the 90red after my dark period and I outperformed my w sodium light on my first try. I had already done extensive research and knew the G8 technology was the real McCoy but having the results in my hands was truly a rewarding experience.

Platinum LED is another company that is striving for transparency and quality. We have the highest PAR for the Watt of any grow light right now. That means we have the brightest lights. Even more important than having bright lights is having light in the right spectrum.

Platinum LED uses 12 different colors of narrow banded diodes to match the natural absorption curve as closely as possible. They use twelve different color bands which overlap to match the natural. In addition to offering a 5 year warranty, Platinum LED is widely praised for their stellar customer service. Super Grow LED is one of the few grow light manufacturers that offers a true continuous full spectrum, with no gaps.

Their SK is an industrial grade grow light designed for maximum efficiency. This light is ideal for use from seed to harvest. It will maximize growth during all stages, improve your cloning success rate and boost yields. With their tough fanless design these grow lights are built to last. The SK comes with clear instructions, specs and diagrams showing a variety of potential grow room set-ups. These durable lights will improve the harvest from a grow of any size. They use a phosphor coat on a high power nm blue base LED to create strong, continuous full spectrum coverage.

This is one of the few LED grow lights out there that really does provide continuous full spectrum light.

The SK is continuous full spectrum from nm, with supplemental cholophyll absorption peaks. Their spectrum closely matches the natural spectrum or daylight. These supply the full spectrum. The remaining third of the diodes are a mixture of red light wavelengths to supercharge the flowering cycle. This increases yields and allows strict photoperiod control. This fanless LED grow light uses high quality heat sinks, thermal bond and metal clad printed circuit boards to manage heat.

There is no heat increase 12 inches from the source, which will considerably reduce HVAC requirements in your grow room. These lenses are the best compromise for maximizing the coverage area while maintaining a high light intensity.

This give the SK the best value in terms of cost per square foot of harvest area compared to LED grow lights of the same size. These LED grow lights are built with rugged materials like the anodized aluminum chassis. There are no bulbs or ballasts to replace. Their customer service is outstanding. The temperature in my grow room rarely gets above 85 degrees and usually runs about 78 degrees — no air cooling — just an efficient fan.

Kind LED was founded by real growers with years of hands-on experience. They painstakingly developed their technology as they realized the full potential of LED grow lights.

The K5 series has an extra-large footprint, making these lights true replacements higher wattage HPS lights. The K5 models use a 12 bandwidth spectrum which covers the entire photosynthetic growing spectrum. It is dimmable, allowing the grower to customize the spectrum to suit vegging or flowering cycles.

The X mimics the natural light cycle by moving through eight different stages during the day. It starts off with a dawn setting, gently waking up your plants. Then it moves gradually through the intensity of midday before slowly dimming into sunset and eventual night. The natural light pattern results in higher yields and more natural growth patterns. There are four large diameter fans that run over several heat sinks to effectively dissipate any heat generated through the light cycle.

They provide measurements at realistic distances from the light. They also give averages for the inner and outer edges of the coverage area. All Kind LED products are covered by a 3 year comprehensive warranty and a day, money back, satisfaction guarantee. There is practically no heat other than the little bit that comes from the heat sinks being cooled. To the touch is cold.

The progress alone in 1 week was astonishing. The difference in size in so little time is mind blowing. I have had them for three months and product is amazing.

Great all the way through. Illumitex is an American company based in Austin, TX that is fully vertically integrated, meaning that they own their supply chain. This gives them the opportunity to manage the quality of their lights at every stage of manufacturing. The adjustable LED bars allow you to direct light exactly where you want it.

The light itself provides uniform distribution and silent operation. Illumitex partners with research companies like the world renowned Syngenta to continually improve their LED lights.

The NeoSol DS is their latest offering. The actual draw of the NeoSol DS is The fluctuation is due to effect of heat on the efficacy of the Surexi diodes. In addition to the common blue and red wavelengths it includes a small amount of green which increases the quality of your yield.

Each diode is protected against dust and water. It features liquid tight cable connections. The NeoSol DS also comes with a guarantee. With a guarantee like that, what do you have to lose? As an added bonus, when you purchase a grow light from Illumitex you gain access to their talented team of horticulture specialists.

This is the new and improved grow light from Grow Northern, a highly respected LED grow light manufacturer in the UK, which will be available starting summer of This new series is light weight, compact and features an adjustable lighting angle. The lights can be remotely dimmed, and turned on or off using a programmed timer via a phone app. You may be wondering how this light made the list. It is made in China, by a Chinese company no less. But a little research showed that these lights actually work great.

These are the best cheap LED grow lights on the market right now. And sometimes cheap is important. It has a high intensity output. They are backed by a good warranty and the company is known for quality customer service. So this light uses less electricity but is able to produce intense light that will improve your yields.

KingLED reminds us that the IR wavelength is at the far edge of wavelengths visible to the human eye. It will look like these diodes are not working or are very dim, but they are helping your plants produce bigger, tastier and more potent buds. While the lighting area and height can be adjusted depending on your set-up, the average coverage is 5. The King W is not a cheaply made Chinese grow light.

It has surprisingly tough materials and is built to last for years. It is a good investment for your growing needs and I highly recommend this product. These American made grow lights outshine even their original Diamond Series thanks to many hours of research.

In addition to the boost in power, you are in full control of the spectrum output and intensity. This makes it easy to adjust the lights instead of changing their height for different stages in the grow.

With the XTE series you are in full control of the spectrum. They were not willing to tell us more about it. The one complaint we have with Advanced LED is that they decline to share much information. Customers seem to love these lights and say they live up to all the claims Advanced LED makes.

These appear to be really great LED grow lights, but we would love to have just a little more information about them. Devendra please link to the comments section.

The XTE series has parts that are easily removed and replaced. Even if you encounter an issue you can usually make the repair yourself with parts supplied quickly and free of charge from Advanced LED.

This means less time fooling around and more time growing great weed. No hidden fees or questions asked. I would highly recommend them. Color select and dimmable controls are available for you to switch between different modes for different phases of growth.

You can also fit more of them into your grow room with the functionality that allows you to daisy chain up to 4 units from the same power supply. If you are looking to totally maximize production from a limited space then this could be the light for you.

Each of the units emits light in 11 different wavelengths. This is not full spectrum but still good quality light. Quite high, maybe their quoted amperage is incorrect.

It does however offer 2 power settings that allow you to choose from W actual draw and W actual draw to adapt the unit to your spatial needs. These two options can also be used to provide gentler lighting to young plants and then to ramp it up during flowering. The Area 51 XGS LED Grow Light is designed to allow you to daisy chain up to four lights from a single power source check your circuit breaker by simply connecting them in series.

Each Area 51 XGS comes with adjustable ratchet hangers and provides high energy Warm White lighting that is suitable for growing plants throughout the grow cycle. It seems like a good option with a reasonable price for providing good quality light that your plants will surely like. Switchable between W or W, as stated by Area51, these sound like reasonable actual Watts given a potential of W.

Aluminum Heat Sinks with 2 X mm ball bearing fans. Each fan operates at 73cfm and makes an almost silent 10dB. G8LED lights from Dorm Grow are extraordinarily efficient grow lights which are used to full capacity during both vegetative and flowering cycles. The extra wavelengths maximize plant growth and yields while saving hundreds of Watts of electricity each hour.

With penetration of up to five feet past the plant canopy, it is no surprise that these lights have received rave reviews and been awarded a High Times Magazine Gear of the Year award in Reviewers have gone so far as to say there are no cons to be listed for G8LED lights. The smaller unit covers over 12 square feet of growing space, while the larger model can accommodate over 24 square feet. By placing two or more G8LED lights on 4 or 6 foot centers respectively you can increase the grow area further through cross coverage.

After extensive research and testing, Dorm Grow found a weighted average ratio of wavelengths used by plants throughout vegetative and flowering growth. They balanced their LEDs accordingly, creating a grow light whose efficiency is unmatched. Dorm Grow explains that more bands are unnecessary, as their 8 carefully chosen wavelengths cover all the light necessary for rapid growth and high bud yields.

Users seem to agree, describing these lights as durable, efficient and contributing to some of the highest yields they have ever achieved. G8LED lights are unique in that they do not have a switch to turn off red diodes during vegging and back on during flowering.

Instead the lights are used at full capacity and add on 90 W Red during the flowering period in place of decreasing the number of it diodes during veg. Dorm Grow is known for quality construction.

You can expect to get over 50, hours from these lights, which means you could use them for up to 10 years if you treat them well! Dorm Grow at www. If you have some experience of Electronics, LEDs and series circuits then self assembly is a great way to save costs , building yourself a top of the range LED grow light without having to pay top dollar for pre-assembled units.

There are also clear and thoroughly explained instructions which allow you to create, adapt and experiment on different environmental conditions. Thank you for thinking of us! The theoretical wattage draw of the Aurora Puck is about 65w. However, this is when running each channel at exactly the max current as specified on our site.

Thus, you will multiple 3. You simply add up the wattage draw of each LED on the puck to find the total draw for the puck. For example, the royal blue is nm, the blue is nm, etc. Hope that helps clear things up, if you have any other questions please feel free to let me know. I am unsure of the draw and electronics so I need some help here as normally I would work out the true wattage when I have the Voltage and the Amps current using thishttp: Please assume I have just bought one of your kits, which comes with two pucks, what would the be the answers to the following assuming I am an average home grower?

For full spectrum color lovers this is the ideal puck! Heat sinks have splash guards for aquarium use and come either drilled or not, depending on your choice. The Dual Aurora Puck Kit is a self assemble kit that contains high quality products from leading brands. If defective, replacement will be provided if we are notified within 14 days. Return shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. Replacement shipping is on us. Please note that once LEDs have been soldered, they are no longer under warranty.

For all other returns, product must be brand new and in original shipping box and sent back to us within 14 days. To work out the actual draw for you, use this handy calculator and enter your home voltage in the top box and either 0. The answer in the middle box is your actual power draw. Lil Tomato go on to suggest an input of Volts at 0. This is because LEDs never run at maximum power all the time. This would be like always driving your car at full revs; it would soon wear out!

The spacious desing should help with heat management. This is the result of extensive research and uses 15 different colored LEDs to create a spectrum that closely mimics the graph below which shows the rate of light absorption of different plant pigments. The full spectrum created goes from UV to IR and covers crucial absorption peaks in the red, orange, violet, and blue spectrum. This represents optimum lighting for both flowering and veg.

Having a square footprint is more efficient than some of the rectangular footprints available and can make for easier grow room planning. This prolongs the life of the LEDs and keeps your energy bills low. Extra large heat sinks are used to keep operating temperatures low, allowing you to get your plants closer to the light source.

We checked, given the amperage is 2. The BDU comes in a sturdy black metal frame that is oversized to allow for extra heat dissipation. The side panels are designed with good venting and the unit comes with D rings and adjustable metal ratchet hangers. To create the best LED combinations that mimic natural daylight for your plants and are suitable for the physical conditions that you have i.

By selecting your preferred fixture length and creating a circuit board with any LEDs up to 15 of your choice together with choosing the beam angle you want in your fixture, you will have the opportunity to evaluate, experiment and compare many different light conditions and scenarios that you can offer to your marijuana plants.

Depending on length, fixtures can have a different number of circuits. These custom made fixtures come with a three year unconditional warranty against defects in workmanship or materials. With the different set of LED colors offered BML you can build an enormous variety of spectrum ranges and built different sets of LEDs specific for different development stages of your plants, e.

For example, you can see the wavelength color predominance and the resulting PAR Photosynthetically Active Radiation of a given LED combination and fixture that you chose. This way you can see which region of the light spectrum is most represented and evaluate which developmental stage of your plants are you favoring most, i. Input voltage VAC. They state these are under driven, as they should be and Watts actual draw. Top quality LEDs protected by heavy spray-proof aluminum case and tough, easy to clean polycarbonate cover.

Three Year Limited Warranty. As with Black Diamond they offer two different sizes. More light energy into your system means more weed out! If your domestic voltage is V then this equates to an actual power draw of around W and W respectively.

The reason for the difference in this is that the LEDs do not continually run at full capacity as that would drastically shorten their life time. What this means to you is even lower utility bills than expected. If you live somewhere with voltage other than V then you can use this simple calculator to work out what the actual power draw of the Cool Diamond LED lights would be for you.

Just enter your domestic power supply in the top box, then enter either 1. The result in the middle box will be your actual power draw. The Cool Diamond LED lights are a step up from the Black Diamond sets in price, but they provide much more power to your grow, enabling you to increase output for the same sized growing area. Basically it means fatter buds and bigger yields.

We calculated the actual draw using this calculator and, using the 5. Either way, it would lower the running costs of the W HID it replaces, as well as significantly lowering the high operating temperatures that are associated with HIDs. To keep operating temperatures down, the Apollo X 3W grow light uses aluminum PCB modules and a 2 cm premium aluminum heat sink.

For added cooling there are also 8, quiet, high output cooling fans. The actual breakdown of the spectrum is not available. Each LED is fitted with a primary 90o lens and a secondary 60o focus lens for maximum light penetration. The Apollo has an independent on board monitoring system that keeps an eye on how the LED grow light is performing. Any malfunctions with the lights are indicated by flashing or extinguished lights on the side of the casing.

This allows you to address any problems that may occur immediately. The Apollo X 3W is a powerful light. The long rectangular shape of the light might be awkward for some tents or smaller rooms. However for larger commercial grows, several of these side by side would supply excellent coverage. The Apollo performs equally well at eitherV or V.

Growblu will even supply the unit with the correct plug for the country that you live in. We contacted them for information for this page and they responded quickly to all our questions.

Optimal Growing Area — 4ft X 4ft. A larger area would be appropriate for seedlings or vegetative plants. It offers single 20W LEDs with 12 multi-chips emitting in 12 bandwidths of light to give you great spectrum coverage for your plants. Chinese LEDs can sometimes get a bad rep but there are a number of online reviews backing up the efficacy of this unit. Grow Sun state that their bandwidths run from nm to nm plus white.

Despite agreement as a Federation to support the ANC as usual, the fact is that many affiliates did not provide the same level of support as in the pas t. Even worse, most of our provinces reported that the Alliance did not adequately co-ordinate its campaign. Various factors contributed to this situation. The Jacob Zuma controversy distracted the Alliance partners from the preparations for the elections in Virtually every province reported that the list process was extremely divisive.

Alliance candidates often felt excluded from the process at local and sometimes even provincial level. As a result, in many areas it proved difficult to ensure active support for the campaign, although COSATU worked to prevent members from running as indep endents. In some parts they did. The resulting document does not 4. The demarcation of cross-border townships caused major difficulties. Pushing through the demarcation over often bitter protest just before the elections has certainly made campaigning difficult, indeed almost impossible, in some towns.

In the Western Cape, once we won the national elections, factions in the ANC and the Alliance started a dog fight, instead of focusing on consolidating the hard-won victory. In its analysis of the elections, the CEC argued that the following were needed to address the problems of governance that became apparent during the elections. The ANC and the Alliance must take the time to discuss issues and find ways to engage with the people more systematically, so that legitimate grievances can be addressed and discontented voters drawn back into electoral process and, better still, active support for the ANC.

The state must ensure not just increased access to services, but access in ways that are seen as affordable and adequate. As long as the average household must survive on R or so a month, most people will not be able to pay much for basic services. We have to find ways to manage these realities with much greater sensitivity.

We need to focus much more on employment creation. This is really the only way to deal with the services backlog in the long run. We need as an Alliance to review ASGI-SA and to establish a more thorough development strategy that will ensure every gover nment programme, from the economy to social services, prioritises the creation of decent work. COSATU wants to see the Alliance and government at all levels intensifying the war against unemployment, poverty and inequality.

These social evils lie at the root of the discontent which leads to both abstentions and street protests. Local councils hav e an important role to play in this war through the provision of basic services, which do so much to improve the lives and morale of the people. We are concerned about the immediate and long term implication of declining voter turn out in the past two elections. In , more than half of registered voters did not exercise their right to vote.

Whilst we know that participation at nat ional elections is much higher, the fact remains that in the elections a million registered voters did not cast their vote. Moreover, we only have rough estimates on how many South Africans have not even registered to vote. Falling participation in elections is consistent with previous local elections and still represents very high turnout by international standards.

But it is not good enough for our young democracy. The risk is complacency. We can win at the polls, and still face massive dissatisfaction, alienation and anger.

Unless we deal with the problems honestly and urgently, the Alliance will likely face, not reduced participation and support in the elections, b ut rather on-going protest action, political divisions, demobilisation and alienation, with potentially devastating consequences for our longer-term aims.

This analysis of the elections reflects CEC discussions on these matters. Does the Congress broadly agree with it? Is the role we played in elections consistent with the Plan? How do we improve on this and address weaknesses in the future? How do our election efforts relate to our other engagements in the Alliance?

Our concern is that many of the most important issues have not been taken forward. This failure to implement our agreements can only undermine and weaken th e Alliance in the longer run. The Summit agreed that the Alliance, working together with our government, had not sufficiently mobilised our energies and resources to ensure that there is indeed a dynamic implementation of the resolutions of the Growth and Development Summit GDS.

The Summit agreed that the Alliance should continue examining options that would encourage growth in fixed capital forma tion, including prescribed assets. The Summit agreed that we need to take forward our discussion, debate and implementation of programmes that will help put South Africa onto a sustainable growth and development path that creates and protects jobs and that ensures decent work and livelihood s for all.

Further it agreed to make urgent interventions to address job losses. It called for an appropriate and more competitive exchange rate that will assist South Africa to create and save jobs, and build and expand local industry.

Appropriate monetar y policy is only one part of urgent measures that are required. A package of short-term interventions should include local procurement, trade and industrial policy measures. Outside of election periods, and despite a great deal of ongoing Alliance interaction, we have not always been able to consistently carry through our unity and our popular mobilisation. We acknowledge several problems and challenges. Unconstructive public attacks on each other have not helped and we have agreed to conduct our debates and air real differ ences, where they may occur, in ways that build unity, and enable the Alliance to provide leadership to our society in general.

We have also agreed that each of us need to strengthen our organisations, especially at the community and shop-floor level so th at we are able to strengthen each others' campaigns. Again the central question to be asked is whether we are on course in implementing our Plan in relation to the strengthening of the Alliance.

What have been the achievements and what weaknesses we must seek to address moving forward? Have the political developments of the past three years moved so rapidly that we must review the basic tenets of our political strategies? What position does Congress take? After analysis of the postapartheid social order, we agreed that the main beneficiary of economic transformation since has been capital, not the working class.

We agreed to ensure more synergising of our campaigns. These campaigns included the demands for the transformation of the financial sector, for land and agrarian reforms, against poverty and hunger, etc. The SACP relaunched the Young Communist League, which immediately brought in new style of politics and has helped to enhance the image of the SACP generally whilst engaging the young on the ideal of socialism. This work is extremely important as it help us continuous engage with ideological question and clarify our perspectives about what socialism is and how we attain it un der the current conditions.

This work must be intensified moving forward. The SACP in a principled stance has supported all our campaigns just as we supported all its campaigns. The SACP has issued a discussion paper on state power. How do we wish to engage our own members on the vexing questions posed by the SACP discussion paper?

What internal political processes should we follow to debate and finalise our views on the matters raised? What does it mean to be a vanguard party in circumstances where a revolutionary trade union movement plays the role of a leading detachment of the working class? What is the role of the SACP and COSATU in addressing the increasing economic fragmentation of labour between the majority, who have formal jobs, and the substantial minority about a third of all workers in vulnerable sectors and informal work?

How do we ensure solidarity and organisational cohesion - how do we avoid political gaps and artificial divisions between organised and unorganised workers? What campaigns, organisational and political programmes should it undertake? The SACP as the vanguard should champion the unity of labour and help us realise the dream of one country - one Federation.

What role should the SACP play in this regard? What is the relationship between the struggle for socialism and the National Democratic Revolution today, given the reality that the ANC is pursuing a market path? We agreed that we must have joint political education programmes. The suggestions we submitted to the ANC on how we can take forward these agreements were as follows. Subsequently the Alliance Secretariat met to take forward these suggestions and agreed as follows: Theoretical questions During a debate a number of questions were raised suggesting that the Alliance may not be sharing theoretical perspectives on a number of issues.

The questions listed below were flagged as part of the debate. Do we have different theoretical perspectives on the character the NDR - what it is and what it should accomplish? Linked to that question is whether there are secondary disagreements on the relationship between the NDR and the struggle for socialism and its relationship with the capitalist system. Is the black bourgeoisie part of the motive forces?

In the same vain another question arises. What is the character of the ANC? Can the ANC lead a struggle to socialism or is natural that it consolidates the system of capitalism? Political Education There is a complete agreement that this work is long overdue. The task is to establish a task-team that would develop a content of the political education that we should run at the bilateral level between the ANC and COSATU and within the Alliance as a who le.

The first task in the process is to get all components to submit paper on the nature of the political education they have. This would help the taskteam to develop content. In addition the task-team would look at how we synergise and resource implicatio ns.

Jobs and Poverty Campaign and Economic Policies There has never been a systematic discussion on the economic policies within the Alliance. Part of the debate has been apparent different conclusions we reach when making an assessment of what has been the impact of economic and social transformation to the lives of the people. The government did a major study as part of commemorating the first ten y ears of democracy and made a conclusion that we are on course to build a better life for all.

COSATU and the SACP, in the same vein whilst acknowledging progress in a number of fronts, made a conclusion that the main beneficiaries of economic transformatio n have been white capital.

The Alliance Secretariat decided to develop a short discussion paper to respond to the challenge of economic transformation, job creation and eradication of poverty.

COSATU has over and over stated that the root problem is that the state often leaves the ANC and its Alliance behind on policy issue s feeding into perception of low intensity democracy and marginalisation. Linked to this is the nature of democracy that we are building and how we interpret the Freedom Charter proclamation that the people shall govern.

Does is mean narrow representative democracy or do we seek to build participatory democracy with the masses of the people playing a much more active role in the processes of transformation? Proposal on the way forward: Establishing the ANC and the Alliance as the political centre Building institutions of social dialogue as the key component of participatory democracy.

The Plan calls for workers to swell the ranks of the ANC. In contrast, only 20 percent of members of other unions belong to an ANC bra nch, and only 17 percent of non members.

In addition, a number of regions, locals and socialist commissions debated and attempted to take forward the resolution on building ANC and recruiting workers to join en masse. We need to ask why we have been unable to ensure a clear working class voice in the ANC. What are the obstacles to implementing the Plan in this area? The discussion on the state and the discussion document for Congress point to major problems in the functioning of the ANC and its relations to the state.

How can we respond better to these issues? Since then our relationship has moved from strength to strength. The ANC Youth League has in the past clearly moved away from its earlier focus on sports and beauty contests into championing the political and socioeconomic demands of the youth. There are two challenges that we must address in Congress. Informed by this framework, we have sought to improve our relations with civil society including academia. In many provinces, however, we are not effectively coordinating this work.

In some provinces, in particular in the Western Cape, we have been largely successful even though we had to deal with the problem of miscommunication leading to perceptions that we were relaunching the United Democratic Front. There is a need to improve this joint work with civil society. A conservative interpretation of the Eighth National Congress resolutions, in particular to require that these formations upfront agree not to attack the ANC-led government, may mean we can nev er work with them.

But if we in a mature way understand that many of them will continue to be highly critical of the ANC government and the strategy of the Alliance itself, we can manage working relations with them without giving them a platform to attack the Alliance instead of working on the agreed issues. SANCO continued to weaken as an organisation. It is currently in crisis with suspensions and counter suspensions, and court interventions on the order of the day. As the result of this instability we have not been able to work with them on any major issues.

As we argue in the political paper, however, nature does not allow a vacuum. Other forces have long occupied the space and are now championing the grievances of residents. This however has not brought us closer to unity and to the realisation of our historic dream for one country, one Federation - one union, one industry.

It is not clear what this means. In the meantime all these formations are united in their claim that they will not merge with COSATU until it agrees to abandon the Alliance - the very weapon that we have used to win freedom and provide all workers with their rights in the Constitution and progressive labour laws.

It is clear that we are dealing with matters of inferiority complex, including fears of being swallowed up. This Congress must address this. COSATU and each of its affiliates did not aggressively drive unity processes in the past three years. COSATU has limited its interventions to writing letters instead of ensuring a systematic and purposeful engagement. Affiliates have done little if anythin g at all in terms of getting mergers at the sectoral level.

Had there been aggressive pursuit of our goals at the sectoral level it would be much easier to reach unity at the Federation level. COSATU has throughout its history engaged and won countless victories through social dialogue combined with mass action. The caucus adopted important decisions aimed at improving c oordination within the labour constituency, strengthening NEDLAC as an institution and reviving the GDS process. A number of trends have developed that are worth noting.

More government Ministers are reluctant to table policy and legislation for debates. The general excuse is that NEDLAC processes are cumbersome and tend to delay the speedy finalisations of such policies. More and more Ministers are not keen to participate. Everyone else did not turn up. If we are not careful and if we do not review our strategy, we may be feeding into a bigger agenda aimed at eroding social dialogue. The value of social dialogue as an avenue of contesting ideas cannot be overemphasised.

Yet the Presidential Working Group works only as a sounding board, certainly not as social dialogue where we can genuinely affect policy. The MLC does create real space for dialogue.

But it too is beginning to witness dwindling numbers from both labour and business. MLC recently has been picking up debates on what is to be done about the stubborn crisis unemployment and poverty. Areas for debate and proposals Generally, both in NEDLAC and in other sites for social dialogue, we have not been successful in assessing both our representatives and the agenda they are driving.

Congress needs to debate how we take these issues forward. That means both building working-class hegemony in public debates, and ensuring on-going debate and discussion on key issues at all levels of the labour movement. The Communication Unit report underlines the modest improvement in media work by affiliates and provinces. Affiliates and provinces are increasingly beginning to use media to communicate on behalf of their members.

Provinces are also beginning to use local media, especially radio, to communicate with the broader public. Overall we have revived political education work at the Federation level.

A number of schools are been organised to deepen political consciousness of the working class. The Chris Hani Brigade has taken off the ground.

The only problem is high turnover amon gst participants. We consistently have to replace comrades who getting leave the unions or even who get promotions by management. Socialist forums, although disrupted by the elections, are also important avenues for mass education and debate within the movement.

Just like the locals the socialist forums keep on being relaunched endlessly unless there is a big debate happening in the Federation.

We must find a way of address this weakness. However, locals are still the biggest challenge for education delivery. A pilot project has revealed the demand for education, especially shop steward education. Challenges posed by locals are broader than education and we need a sustained programme to reb uild and resource this layer of the organisation. We have seen a turnaround in our education coordination and delivery. This rise in education delivery was linked to the three-year education plan adopted soon after the Eighth National Congress in Some of the unions have re-established their educatio n department, but some still have no budget or programme for education.

Overall, these achievements lay the basis for ongoing ideological work, but they are not sufficient. One area where we seem to be lacking is around sustained work in the public domain.

Very few of our leaders and officials bother to enter the public discou rse to shape its direction, defend the union movement and to assert the class agenda of the working class. We need to discuss how we prioritise this work compared to other requirements.

Introduction The Organisational Report first reviews the overall development of the organisation and affiliates. Organisational Overview The Plan directed us to undertake conscious, consistent organisational review and development in order to meet new challenges. This process has two aims. First and foremost, we must build a strong trade union movement that excels on workplace issues a nd defence of members in the face of attacks by employers. Second, we must continue to engage on priority policy issues, above all to ensure employment creation and strengthen social protection.

This main task of the Ninth National Congress is to assess if we are still on course in relation to the Programme. Clearly, we have made progress in many areas. We should not be self-critical to the point where we ignore our strengths and achievements. After all we are the biggest civil society formation in our country and the biggest membership based movement.

By far we are the most vibrant, democratic and worker -controlled organisation. We are independent but not politically neutral. We are visionary and by far the only organisation that has an active internal organisational review. We have through a consistent record earned the title of being the moral campus of our country.

We are a revolutionary and transformative trade union that is respected on the home front and across the globe for its dynamism and unique blend of trade unionis m. These are our strengths. We seek to fortify them as we said in the last Congress through consistently analysing our strengths and weaknesses and seeking to improve our strategies.

Talking about these strengths does not mean we should not openly confront the weaknesses of the Federation. As we said through the organisational review process, ours is not to compare ourselves with nobodies or corner-fish-and-chips formations. Our task i s to at all times compare us only with the best of our traditions and strengths.

Failure of the recruitment campaign. Affiliates have not taken the recruitment campaign seriously. Failure to implement decisions. A frightening culture has developed where leaders take decisions with much ease in constitutional structures and then fail or sometimes even refuse to implement them. This tendency risks reducing the Federation into a deb ating society with no organisational cohesion.

Lack of progress on trade union unity. Failure to organise atypical workers. No significant inroads are being made into organising farm workers, domestic workers, casuals, contract workers and other vulnerable workers. Inadequate progress on the position of women workers. Retreat from the workplace. Outside of wage struggles, there is no coherent strategy to challenge management prerogatives and democratise the workplace. This emerges in weak work on skills development and employment equity, amongst others.

An unintended consequence of focusing on macro issues may be the abandonment of the shop floor. Softness in engaging capital. The downside of this approach is that capital has been left relatively unscathed.

COSATU has sought to use the state to discipline capital but r arely developed a Plan B where it would directly pressure business itself. Lack of control over union investment companies. With a few exceptions, union investment companies are a law unto themselves. They act contrary to the Central Committee decision that they should adopt strategies to transform the economy.

Involvement in divisions in the liberation movement. There are obvious and naked attempts by some in the liberation movement to lobby and recruit leaders in COSATU who will be sympathetic to their cause. This undermines our cohesion. The syndrome of some leaders to negotiate with their CVs under their arms must be confronted. In this case positions in unions are used to cultivate chances to advance personal careers in government and in the private sector.

The key problem remains a lack of capacity to drive the process. The main organisational development projects all stalled, including the recruitment campaign which is analysed below , systematic improvements in financial management, a strategy on investment companies, and membership systems. COSATU was also supposed to establish a network as a platform to share information and experiences and to coordinate organisational development work.

It contains a huge amount of information on how workers see their unions, which must feed into our organisational debates. The slow progress on organisational development tasks raises two fundamental issues. First, are we realistic in our planning in this area? Second, are affiliates and NOBs sufficiently committed to implementing decisions arrived at in Constitutional structu res, including Congresses and Central Committees?

With the Organisational Review Commission report adopted by the Eighth National Congress, the key challenge facing the Federation is to translate this programme into a concrete set of implementation programmes and structures to address identified weaknesse s and multiply the strengths. As we reported in the Third Central Committee held last year, the affiliates who tend to need the Organisational Review the most at the very who move last and those who are strong take the advantage and move.

This creates even greater levels on unevenness in the Federation. The big unions tend to be able grow further and better. The small unions tend to decline and face serious problems. The Third Central Committee in response took a number of decisions meant in particular to respond to the challenge of lack of implementation. These resolutions were on: Organisational discipline, internal democracy and worker control; 2.

Union finances, support for shop stewards and staff and management systems; 3. Revitalising the recruitment campaign. Policy Areas and Debates 1.

It would not be correct to keep on repeating our commitments to the Organisational Review without identifying why it is not progressing as expected. Our key task is to translate existing resolutions into an implementation programme. In this regard we mu st look which areas to prioritise in the resolutions adopted by the Third Central Committee and the Eighth National Congress.

We must address lack of capacity at both the Federation and affiliate level. In COSATU, the leadership is able to identify in conjunction with the affected affiliates a number of interventions and processes that must be pursued. Most affiliates similarly lack personnel to drive organisational development. How can we address these challenges? As the following table shows, COSATU grew extraordinarily rapidly in the late s and again after , but has had more or less the same number of members for the past decade.

The following table shows union membership from , using numbers reported by the unions to COSATU for purposes of assessing affiliation fees. Virtually all the other unions lost members. In contrast, in the three years to the Eighth National Congress, virtually every union recorded a decline in mem bership. The past three years saw some growth in the share of manufacturing and private services, a decline in mining, and stabilisation in the public-service uni ons.

In fact failure to reach the recruitment targets is a typical ex ample of affiliates taking decisions with ease in meetings, but neglecting systematic follow through. Yet organising the unorganised is a central mandate for all unions.

This framework was further developed immediately after the Congress. Consistent preparation and implementation 2. Improving service to members 4. Support to vulnerable workers 5. Link to commitment to strengthening the Alliance The framework included: We have not seen a concerted strategy around vulnerable workers.

FAWU has begun research for a strategy to recruit farm workers. Nonetheless, progress is not fast enough. COSATU began a process to explore ways to set up structures for hawkers and other self-employed workers.

We need to decide how to take this project forward. We have no plans in place for dealing with low union density in retail, or for meeting the needs of domestic workers. However, in this period unions that were in crisis have turned the corner and there are visible signs of improvement in a number of areas. In most cases, however, it became clear that the Federation lacked capacity to sustain its interventions. This section provides a very brief overview of affiliates. It has experienced a good spell of political stability over the last two years.

Restructuring in the wood and paper sub-sector is leading to increased subcontracting, which is presenting the union with a problem to organise. Still, density in its industries remains very low, and there is a lot of scope for growth. CWU was completely ill-prepared for the restructuring of Telkom and the Post Office and failed to diversify its membership base from these two entities. Leadership inertia and organisational stagnation followed. Membership was not growing but the union could continue to operate without incurring losses.

In other words, the union was in a comfort zone and unable to break out of this cocoon. An initial effort to support organisational development as the basis for recrui tment was not sustained due to lack of capacity. Yet the potential to grow is huge. The new CEC must return to this matter at earliest opportunity.

The union faces rivalry from Solidarity in Telkom and the need to step up recruitment across the entire telecommunications and broadcasting industries. Within Telkom, it must contend with subcontracting by stepping up its recruitment campaign. CWU has continued to lose members, falling from 32 to 25 in the past three years. However, like all health sector unions it is confronted with the challenge of providing an alternative strategy to improve health care and conditions o f service for health care workers.

DENOSA has seen a gradual erosion in membership, which a sharper fall in the past three years from 71 to 64 Yet it has historically been beset by leadership wrangles.

The union faced a bitter power struggle in its last Congress held in October It could not mend the rifts thereafter and was plunged into a crisis when its former President attempted unilaterally to suspend the new General Secretary.

COSATU intervened , resulting in the union drafting an organisational programme which it is now implementing. Membership is growing again after years of stagnation; the finances are in healthy state; and leadership is more coherent. The challenge remains to implement the or ganisational review process. It operates in one of the harder-to-organise sectors.

First, it confronts a mostly casualised membership base, which impacts on its resourcing and ability to sustain its programmes. Second, it faces a steep challenge to convince employers that performing artist are workers that should be afforded the status in our labour laws. Third, it is finding i t extremely hard to maintain its gains largely due to the absence of a bargaining forum in the industry.

We must recall that the union was not in good standing due to failure to pay affiliation fees, which in turn reflected a financial and organisational crisis.

The NOBs programme to visit members to amongst others deal with their grievances and issues has helped members to regain confidence in the union. This programme exposed weaknesses that were later dealt with sufficiently. N EHAWU is also beginning to reassert its power and has initiated important transformatory campaigns around public hospitals in particular. The union lost around 30 members, but has since stabilised. In , it reported members, with consistent growth in the previous period.

NUM has managed to maintain its size despi te the jobs bloodbath in mining. It is also one of the innovative unions in the Federation and has adopted a long term organisation building plan. The last Congress of the NUM saw ugly scenes at the union twice was in court to defend itself in the face of challenges from within.

The loss mostly reflects the loss of mining jobs, as virtually all black miners are NUM members. The main area the union can grow is in construction, which still has very low levels of organisation. As a result of a robust bargaining strategy, NUMSA has managed to improve wages for workers in auto manufacturing. However, it is also organising in sectors like metals production, which has experienced high output growth combined with slow growth in jobs, and appliances, which has seen major job losses.

Still, it is one of the few unions to experience membership growth in the last three years. When the union faced a bitter power struggle in September Congress, COSATU decided to intervene since this was the second time around without a great deal of progress being made.

NUMSA reported a substantial increase in membership in the past three years, growing from in to in It has led various struggles to improve the working conditions of its members in the police and correctional serv ices. Not only has the union amassed substantial resources as a result of its effective financial management, it has also experienced growth in the last three years.

Its membership climbed from 67 in to 96 in Even though it continues to face serious organisational challenges, it has displayed a high degree of unity of purpose, which is evidence of organisational cohesion. It is encouraging to note that SACCAWU has mounted historic struggles to champion the interest of casuals, who now make up at least a third of all retail workers.

Because of these struggles the union has recruited new members, principally casuals, setting the tone for strategies to deal with vulnerable workers. Still, only about one retail worker in five belongs to a union. SACCAWU has started to grapple with organisation building and has established an organisational development commission under the leadership of its President.

Nevertheless, it faces daunting challenges that strains its limited financial, human and other resources. It has enjoyed a long spell of internal cohesion and stability. It has developed innovative ideas to promote local procurement and explored the use of power as well as en gagement at sectoral level to save the industry.

Despite the massive job losses in the industry, the union increased its membership from to in the past three years. The union is relatively stable and has enjoyed a period of internal cohesion after its previous turbulent Congress.

SADTU is now confronted by the fact that there is limited scope to grow as unionisation of teachers in the general education stream has reached saturation point. Options open to SADTU for growth are merger with other teachers unions, to organise non-educat ors in the schools, and to expand to further education and higher education.

SADTU has managed to grow substantially in the past three years, rising from in to in It dropped to in This is a huge concern. The turn around in the union has been rewarded by recognition within the global union movement, reflected in the election of comrade Howard Randall as the President of the ITF. In the SAA case relatively skilled personnel embarked on an unprecedented strike, indicating a major breakthrough for unionisation.

At Transnet, we saw crossraci al solidarity among the workers at the point of production. This indicates that workers are yearning for unity across colour and occupational lines.

Its membership soared from 74 in to in COSATU have however long committed itself to the process of building cartels as the step to create super unions. All these merge rs and integration processes were seen as constituting Phase 1 of progress toward cartels and superunions.

This Ninth Congress must review the process and decide on how we proceed. Since then, FAWU has stepped up its efforts to recruit and protect farm workers, mak ing slow but definite progress.

In addition to the increase in membership, it is conducting research to ensure greater progress in future. Farm worker recruitment statistics September to August 2. If all goes well this will be the point unity between the two unions.

A first step would be to improve co-odination around the campaigns to ensure local procurement in retail. A merger Congress will take place in November A new constitution exists. All other related merger questions have been fina lised. Various public-sector workshops have been held, but they have not led to organisational developments in this regard.

With the public sector unions having employed a coordinator attached to COSATU, we are now in a better position to drive this process as well as building the broader public-sector cartel. Organising the self-employed The November CEC approved a project to explore organising the selfemployed in the informal sector, most of whom are street-based retailers hawkers and, in the former homeland areas, subsistence farmers.

The project would focus on retail. As the following table shows, the share of informal employment has remained fairly stable since The employment survey changed in , which may explain the decline compared to Share of employment in the informal sector, to Source: Calculated from Statistics South Africa, October Household Survey, for and , and Labour Force Survey for , and Just over half of informal workers are self employed, and most of them are employed in retail.

Employment by sector in the informal sector, September Source: Calculated from, Statistics South Africa. Labour Force Survey September Formal Informal Domestic employee self employee self total Number employed millions 8.

Close to three quarters earn less than R a month, virtually none h ave a retirement fund, and around a quarter works over 60 hours a week. The vast majority are African, and half of the selfemployed are women. Informal workers are more likely than formal workers to be under 30 years old.

Conditions of work and demography in the informal sector, September Source: Organising the self-employed poses challenges for the labour movement, which is historically based on the unity of workers to negotiate with their employers. The labour laws generally do not apply to the self-employed, but rather regulate relations between employers and employees.

This means there is no framework for bargaining and few minimum standards, for instance to set hours of work. For the self-employed, negotiations must focus on new issues, such as securing the right to trade from municipalities, obtaining cheaper inputs from suppliers, and establishing collective benefit schemes.

The issue of scope becomes more difficult, since membership is no longer defined by relations to an employer. Some political problems may arise. Do the self-employed invariably have the same interests as the proletariat? How do we ensure a stable progressive character for the proposed organisation? The workshop in came up with the following proposals. All unions should organise the informal sector within their scope, and report regularly on progress.

COSATU should set up a project to organise self-employed street vendors and producers, with the following guidelines. It would focus on the identified campaigns plus other demands raised by members. The association could work with SAMWU to negotiate with municipalities, and could engage with the Employment Conditions Commission on minimum rights and standards. A problem is that the BCEA does not apply to the self-employed.

The new association would set a quota for women leadership. It said COSATU should employ a co-ordinator and set up a steering committee including regional and union representatives to provide assistance.

They provided us with the funding for the workshop detailed. In addition they have approved funding for the start up of the informal sector project on condition that we submit audited statements for the initial grant they provided us to hold workshops. To support and promote the demands of the WCCA campaign to the municipalities of South Africa that no group or individual should be unduly disadvantaged by any urban improvement or urban renewal initiatives in preparation for the FIFA World Cup of , and no relocation of street traders should be done without making available viable and acceptable alternatives which are accessible to even the poorest traders.

The main problems are: Increasing reliance on external funds for policy engagements and education, Failure of affiliates to pay levies to which they agreed, and some delays in meeting affiliation fees, and Inability to maintain real wages and salaries, which contributes to high turnover of staff. The main reason was that a number of major affiliates were also experiencing problems that resulted in them not being able to pay their affiliation fees.

At the end of the financial year, this situation had improved dramatically. All affiliates were in good standing in terms of their affiliation fees.

Most of the unions have signed debit order with the Federation. At this point we are building some reserves that have reached more than R6 million. Summary of accounts, and July show some re-emerging problems, however. As the following table shows, affiliates owned R3. Moreover, most had not paid up on the political and other levies to which they agreed, leaving them a total of almost R10 mi llion behind. Year Operating Expenditure 25,, 34,, Affiliation fees 23,, 28,, Total income 27,, 33,, Operating expenditure less total income -1,, , Affiliation fee per member 1.

Affiliation income in was R24 million, compared to R28 million in Income by source, and The income figures suggest a decline in the share of grant income. COSATU has not set the units up as cost centres, so it is virtually impossible to identify the use of funds by units.

Unit expenditure in the COSATU budget does not reflect salary or other operating costs, only other expenditure on specific projects. The auditors cannot trace all income back to source in the affiliates. The auditors cannot verify whether the membership numbers given by affiliates are accurate, so they cannot tell if the affiliation fees are correct in those terms.

The special CEC called in July to review the financial statements acknowledged and accepted these qualifications. In essence, the qualifications reflect the fact that auditing standards are set up for companies, not for union Federations.

Nature of debt Amount in rand Affiliation fees 3,, Cubah managed to rent out spaces that have long b een vacant, and the new tenants pay their rental reliably. The only vacant space is now the seventh floor. Unfortunately, because some tenants are still not meeting their obligations, we have been unable to transfer the hoped-for amount of R into an investment account for renovations.

Currently, however, the investment is at R1, 4 million. This process should end sometime in will the creati on of separate Free State and Northern Cape provinces. This new demarcation amongst others is aimed at addressing coordination problems with the Alliance components and government.

But it has caused serious problems for the private sector unions. To these unions, the challenge for demarcation is not political but to ensure cost-effective service for workers. This is no easy matter. Areas for debate and proposals a. State of the national structures 9. They meet fortnightly to receive report from the Secretariat and account for the deployment and activities in between the meetings. They have made countless interventions in all areas of work of the Federation.

This helped profile the Federation. They assisted in providing the Federation the cohesion and the respect it enjoys locally and internationally. In the team adopted a document called modus operandi following some tensions arising out of managing administration and mandates in the context of the constitution.

In this document, the team allocated key responsibilities in order to ensure collectiv e leadership and sharing of responsibilities. The March bosberaad broadly reaffirmed the modus operandi document. It ag reed that the NOB collective would rigorously take forward decisions of constitutional structures. Regrettably, in the run up to this Congress, the media has attempted to play up and sensationalise reports of tensions within the NOB collective.

We have to manage this situation. The CEC meets four times a year on occasions it is forced to convene special meetings when necessary. The CEC has functioned very well over the period under review. There remain two weaknesses. First, with a few important exceptions, political debates are dominated by General Secretaries.

Second, the debates are dominated by a small group of unions, with o thers remaining largely silent. This reflects the uneven development in the Federation.

The Third Central Committee in held a highly successful meeting on industrial policy, organisational development as well as adopting an extensive resolution to defend the ANC Deputy President Comrade Jacob Zuma. The final document on industrial policy , which was revised in light of the Central Committee discussions and resolutions, is being circulated separately.

The Central Committee continues to play a critical role in that in between the Congresses it brings together about shop stewards and activists of our movement to debate major policy directions for the Federation. It is an important platform that underl ines the democratic and vibrant nature of the Federation.

Many of our regions are beginning to incorporate socioeconomic issues and struggles in their daily work. They are now called upon to play a strategic role in provincial development summits and other industrial strategy processes. The common problem facing the provinces in this connection remains capacity constraints and inadequate support from the head office.

Provinces are also expected to provide leadership and support to locals as well as engage with local economic development processes. Provinces are not able to cope with these processes and lack human and financial resources to follow all political and soci o economic process.

All the provinces say that support from affiliates could be improved. Poor reporting back from the CEC by affiliates. We have made major efforts to revive the locals in recent years, including holding a locals summit and increased support for the Socialist Forums. Still, we have to ask why our locals must continuously be re-launched. Some common problems can be identified. Locals do not have a budget or employees to coordinate their activities. They have to rely on the dedication and effort of the local office bearers.

Some unions do not take attendance at locals by shopstewards very seriously. This is particularly a problem where a few unions dominate local structures. In many instances our locals are asked to respond to local development initiatives, but have no capacity. The leadership that took over quickly addressed the challenges and is now are formidable team that leads the Federation. The main strength of the province is cohesion and unity displayed in the recent re-election of all Provincial Office Bearers unopposed.

The PEC and therefore the affiliates play an important role to lead the Federation in particular during the mass campaigns of the Federation. The lapse in the ability to get affiliates to participate evenly in campaigns following the death of Comrade Ntsan gani has been addressed. The province experienced a degree of instability at the level of the Alliance. The Deputy Chairperson, who was also an MEC, was fired tog ether with a number of others believed to be sympathetic to the left project.

Unsubstantiated allegations of corruption were levelled against some leftwing cadres in government and parastatals. This caused problems as many believed that there was a deliber ate political programme to root out left-leaning cadres in the provinces and replacing them with the rightwing using trumped up corruption charges that haven not been proven. The list process for the localgovernment elections proved particularly divis ive and demoralising.

Some locals take sides in unstable ANC subregions, which can spill over into instability within the Federation. In some locals this is so overwhelming that the focus of these locals is on nothing else but these disputes. A related problem is that of Allian ce structures either not existing or not functioning at all at the local level. In addition, some of workplaces where we have been strong are now seriously contested politically.

Our own shop stewards base is beginning to show political allegiance to other reactionary formations. New Provincial Office Bearers are: May Day rallies and other gatherings are always attended better than other provinces.

This strength reflects that the PEC has become coherent and unity has been achieved. Locals are in a better position. Politically the province is also engaging well with the Alliance with relations in particular in the Free State province at healthy state.

Serious weaknesses emerged though in the elections process. As a result, some locals refused to join the campaign despite visits by Provincial Office Bearers. Despite these problems, the province held bilaterals with the ANC and attended its lekgotla in both the Free State and Northern Province. We agreed on a joint Alliance programme of action and education.

The SACP has raised its profile, running successful campaigns around the financial sector and land reform, amongst others. It is the most strategic with the biggest of the manufacturing sector members. Its main weakness is the lack of consistency in its own programme resulting in a lack of its own independent public pro file.

Yet when it comes to national actions it pulls the biggest worker gathering arising out of the concentration of members and geographical advantages. The Alliance presents strategic stability in the province. It has not, however, been as effective as hoped in influencing government policies.

SANCO is still reeling from structural weaknesses in the province. In terms of other social movements, the province agreed to distinguish between those that use acceptable legal tactics and those that rely on anarchist adventurism.

We have a constructive relationship with TAC. Obviously the biggest development in the province was the triumph of the democratic forces led by the ANC and the Alliance leading to their ascent to political power. Since the local government elections in March , the majority of municipalities are now also under the leadership of the ANC. There were, however, some problems with the list process; violence; and a lack of trust between comrades.

Overall the province has a relatively good working relationship with the provincial government. The PEC remains united and coherent. The province now has its own independent profile from consistency in campaigns, including taking up provincial and local issues even though they on occasions require a big push from behind.

The new Provincial Office Bearers are: The state of locals in KwaZulu Natal, ranked from 0 to 10 The NOBs however expressed concern about relatively poor participation in its mass activities. The province has since embarked on the conscious programme to address this weakness and it seems to be turning the situation around if we are to use this May Day rally as the measure.

The Alliance has not drastically improved.

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