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The Antecedents

The National Teachers’ Union (NATU) traces its formation to a meeting held at the Bantu Congregational Church (Ezihlabathini) in Durban in 1918. This meeting was held between the Northern Natal Teachers’ Association (NNTA) and the Coastal Teachers’ Association (CTA) in the erstwhile Natal Province, now called KwaZulu Natal (KZN), in pursuit of the best way these two organisations could effectively serve the teachers of the province. The meeting resolved to merge the two bodies into one Union – where ‘union’ referred to the amalgamation of the two associations. At its establishment, the Union was called the Natal Native Teachers’ Union (NNTU). This name was subsequently changed to the Natal Bantu Teachers’ Union (NBTU) in the 1950’s, following the introduction of Bantu Education after the National Party came to power in 1948.