Zingiswa Losi


Zingiswa Phyllis Losi (born October 2, 1975) is a South African trade unionist. She is the first female president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), elected in 2018 at the 13th National Congress.

Losi also served in the South African military and the ANC Youth League structures in the Eastern Cape. 

Zingiswa Losi
Zingiswa Losi biography
Zingiswa Losi is the first female president of Cosatu.
Quick Facts
Birth Name:Zingiswa Phyllis Losi
Born:October 2, 1975 (age 47 years old)
Place of Birth:KwaZakhele
Nationality:South African
Education:Algoa College of Education
Parents:Graham Mzwandile Losi, Vuyiswa Esther Losi
Occupation:Trade Unionist
Union:Congress of South African Trade Unions
Position:Cosatu’s President

Early Life

Zingiswa Losi was born on October 2, 1975, in KwaZakhele. Her parents, Graham Mzwandile Losi and the late Vuyiswa Esther Losi raised her to stand up for herself.

When she was a year old, she relocated with her family to New Brighton. Her mother worked as a domestic worker. She later worked as a general assistant at eMpilweni Hospital until her retirement.

Her father was also a general assistant at Santa Hospital. Later, he became a debt collector at a furniture shop. Growing up wasn’t easy for her and her siblings.

Seeing how active her family was in politics made her politically aware even at a very young age.

In 1985, her brother Xolani left for exile, and her sister Ncamile Nonceba followed in 1986. Their involvement in politics awoke her spirit of activism.


Zingiswa attended Phendla Lower Primary and Phillip Nikiwe High School. She completed it at Ithembelihle Senior Secondary School.

After matric, she enrolled to study economics at the University of South Africa in 1995. 

Losi didn’t complete her pursuit of a degree because she couldn’t provide a matric certificate. She then registered at Algoa College of Education.

While having her teaching studies, she applied for a most in the South African military. She served as a technical assistant to aviation artisans.


Losi is a member of the ANC’s national executive committee. In 1996, she joined the military and served for three years. After leaving the army, she moved to Port Elizabeth.

In 2000, she was a casual worker at Jet stores and a member of the SACP’s central committee. She got a job at Ford Motor Company in 2001 and was active in the ANC Youth League in the Nelson Mandela Bay region.

Losi represented workers after becoming a shop steward for Numsa at Ford. She is the deputy director of the Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service in Pretoria.


Losi made history on September 20, 2018, after she became the first female president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions. 

The union announced her president at their 13th national congress. 

Losi served as the second deputy president since 2009. She stood unopposed to lead the union with over 1.6 million members. She joined the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union without being a member of the police or a prison official. This made her a shop steward so that she could keep her position in Cosatu.

Personal Life

Losi, who grew up in a family of nine siblings, has a twin sister Zamela. She has a deep and commanding voice and enjoys drawing and spending quality time with her family.

Zingiswa is a proud mother of two daughters, Chumani and Chulumanco.