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- ItemThe 1907 strike: A reassessment(1994-08-22) Shear, KeithThe 1907 white miners' strike on the Witwatersrand has often been used to illustrate significant trends and changes in the political economy of early twentieth-century South Africa. The principal themes are well-known. First, the maintenance of production during the strike by African and Chinese workers demonstrated that some of the skills of immigrant white miners could be dispensed with, marking the beginning of a long struggle to remove white underground workers from productive to mainly supervisory roles. Second, a significant number of Afrikaners, introduced as strike-breakers, entered the mining industry for the first time. This provided one element in a convergence of interests between the industry and the new Het Volk government, which, anxious to assist the Afrikaner unemployed who constituted both a social threat and a section of its electoral support, requested Imperial troops in support of its ‘right to work’ policy during the strike. This indication of good faith in helping mining capital to reduce working costs through an attack on white labour was also a signal to potential foreign investors and lenders that the Transvaal was ‘safe for capital’; its government had accepted the idea that in fostering the industry it was promoting the state's major source of revenue and financial security, a goal to which any competing social concern would henceforth be subordinated. Despite being used to illuminate such important issues, no detailed account of the 1907 strike has been published, while the few books and articles that offer more than a bare outline of the chief events before commenting on their significance are not always accurate. From this first major conflict between capital and organized labour on the Rand a good deal more can be learned than the bald summary of its outcome conventionally rendered in statistics demonstrating reductions in working costs or an increase in the percentage of locally-born whites employed. Such figures, while doubtless important, contribute little towards an understanding of how these results were achieved, and can be misleading if used to support far tidier metanarratives about relations between state and capital than a detailed discussion of the progress and resolution of the conflict would suggest. The purpose of this paper is to offer a careful reconstruction of the strike that will situate the course of events in the context of the production imperatives of the mining industry; that will shed light on the coercive capacity of the post-reconstruction state; that will illuminate the texture of white workers' experience; that will permit a reading of the significance of the strike against the background of the political history of the period; and that will above all convey something of the magnitude of a conflict that has tended to be diminished by being seen as the first and smallest of a series of increasingly menacing challenges by white labour to the power of state and capital in early twentieth-century South Africa.
- ItemThe 1913 and 1914 white workers' strikes(1978-10) O'Quigley, A.The gold mining industry on the Rand began in the 1880's and by 1913 there were 63 mines employing about 21 000 white workers and 200 000 black workers. Gold, the international money commodity, had a fixed price. This meant there was a certain constraint with regard to the costs of production because increases could not be passed on to the buyers. The gold bearing ore on the Rand was deep lying and of a consistent low grade throughout the Reef. Because of its depth large amounts of capital investment were required for its exploitation. This was provided by finance houses in Europe through whom groups of gold mining companies were controlled. The profitability of the industry was constrained by the fixed price, the low grade of the ore and the need for large scale capital investment. Because of this the industry depended on cheap labour. The problem of finding and maintaining a supply of cheap labour dominated the policies of the industry. In the early years the great majority of blacks lived in the rural areas subsisting as independent farmers or on white owned land as squatters, share croppers and wage labourers…. As far as the gold mining industry was concerned in the early years some blacks came voluntarily in order to obtain cash to buy European produced goods such as guns. But increasingly black labour was obtained by recruiters who worked for the gold mining industry…. The black labour force thus obtained was lacking in any experience of industrial life and was restricted to unskilled work. In order to develop the mines and carry out certain skilled mining operations the gold companies also needed a supply of skilled workers. These were not available in South Africa. Skilled miners from overseas were induced £o come to the. Witwatersrand because of the relatively high wages. Most of them originated in Britain. Skilled miners tended to be nomadic and some had experience of work in Australia, America and other gold fields throughout the world. These miners' brought to South Africa their trade union experience and soon established branches of British craft unions and an autonomous miners union. As blacks became experienced in gold mining operations the TCM wanted to be able to substitute this labour for the more expensive white workers. Skilled whites were still necessary but where skills could be fragmented blacks could carry out some of the operations…. This is largely an empirical study of the 1913 miners' strike and the 1914 railway strike. I concentrate on events rather than analysis and would be glad of any help from people in the seminar. Although it is impossible to exhaustively state the causes for the 1913 strike I outline some of the factors I see as important. These include the insecurity of white miners because of their fear of being replaced by black and their reaction to general labour condition including their insecurity of tenure and the occupational disease phthisis. The strike itself revolved around the question of the recognition of trade unions which the TCM refused to do.
- ItemThe 1920 black mineworkers strike(1987-02-09T10:50:09Z) Bonner, Phil
- ItemThe 1946 African Mine Workers' Strike in the political economy of South Africa(1975-06) O'Meara, Dan
- ItemThe 1949 Durban 'Riots' - a case-study in race and class(1974-08) Webster, E.C.This paper was written as a response to the somewhat abstract discussions that sometimes take place in university seminars on the relative weight of class, race and ethnicity in explaining human behaviour. It rests on the assumption that conceptual clarification has limited value, unless conceptual analysis is followed by a concrete historical or sociological analysis of a particular social situation. The Durban 'riots' of 1949 was chosen as a case-study because it has been widely used by 'separate development theorists' as an example of the inevitability of conflict between the races, without any attempt being made to relate this conflict to the political economy. This paper is an attempt to develop a theoretical franework that recognizes the embryonic and partial nature of class formation in a 'plural society' through the notion of class 'suppression', but nonetheless attempts to derive a meaningful frame of reference for explaining a class based act. In Part 1 I will introduce the theoretical framework. Part II, III and IV is an attempt to give a portrait of the participants in the riot, analysing their composition, motives and how activity was generated among them. Here a note of caution needs to be introduced. I am still at a tentative stage in my research in two crucial areas; firstly, on the 'consciousness' of the participants I have to date only had access to written material such as newspapers and reports. These sources are a partial perspective - this includes in particular, the official Government Inquiry into the riots. Hopefully I will have a fuller picture when I have extended my data-gathering to interviews of participants. Secondly, I realise that in a crucial area of my argument among the African traders I am still at an early stage of research. Part V tries to place the conflict in a wider perspective of the social structure.
- ItemThe 1952 Jan van Riebeeck tercentenary festival: constructing and contesting public national history(1952-02-27T06:03:53Z) Rassool, Ciraj; Witz, Leslie
- ItemThe 1976 Soweto uprising(1994-05-02) Gerhart, Gail M.
- ItemAbortion: Some insights into power and patriarchy(1995-03-20) Walker, LizAs in the rest of the world, abortion in South Africa, is a pressing social proble (2). It is also an issue about which we know and understand very little, in part because the question of abortion has received limited attention in both the popular and academic literature in this country (3). The issue of abortion in South Africa has generally been kept silent. Two reasons can be cited for this. Firstly, the availability and accessibility of abortion have been determined by the medical profession and the State, both historically dominated by white men (4). Secondly, political and women's organisations in South Africa have been both divided and silent on the issue. Reproductive politics has assumed little political profile. Abortion, and indeed "fighting for a woman's right to choose, was not like being part of any other political cause, [because] the issue is not 'malestream' politics" (5). The fight against apartheid has assumed a far greater significance than reproductive politics (6).
- Item"Academic non-segregation and social segregation": Wits as an "open" university, 1939-1959(1988-05) Murray, BruceIn 1959 the Extension of University Education Act provided that the 'white' universities in South Africa could no longer admit black students, except in special circumstances and only with ministerial position. Prior to then two of the four English-speaking universities, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the University of Cape Town, operated as 'open' universities, supposedly in the sense that their criteria of admission were purely academic, and were applied without regard to considerations of race, colour, or creed. The position in 1959 was that there were 297 black students at Wits, as against 4813 whites, and 633 black students at UCT, including 461 'Coloureds', as against 4471 whites. Neither Natal nor Rhodes were 'open' in the sense that Wits and UCT were. From 1936 onwards the Durban branch of the Natal University College did provide separate part-time classes for blacks, and in 1951 a medical school for blacks was established in Durban under the University of Natal, but otherwise blacks were excluded from the regular classes at the university. As Edgar Brookes confessed in his History of the University of Natal, published in 1966, 'it is not possible to avoid regretting the failure of the University ever to concede real unhindered equality to non—European students'. Rhodes University, for its part, made no provision for admitting black students. While Wits and Cape Town clearly differed from the other too teaching universities in South Africa, they were never completely 'open' universities, and they certainly never granted "unhindered equality" to their black students. The official policy of the University of the Witwatersrand was one of "academic non-segregation and social segregation". In terms of that policy, black students were to be offered the maximum practicable access to the academic facilities available in the University and they were to be treated in academic matters with racial impartiality, but beyond the academic sphere social contact with white students was to be severely curtailed. Outside of the classroom, blacks were excluded from the main residences, the sports fields, and social activities organised by whites. In other words, the University's policy towards black students was that they ware there for academic purposes only, and were not thereafter to participate in the general social and sporting life of the University. In 1952 the Students' Representative Council at Wits challenged the University's policy of "social segregation", but was unable to change it. The University Council, sensitive to the fact that the 'open' universities represented a target for the Nationalist Government which had come to power in 1948, was more anxious to intensify rather than relax the policy of social segregation, and there was little support in Senate foe an abandonment of that policy. In the main, the liberals in the Senate were satisfied with the University's 'middle way' of "academic non-segregation and social segregation"; it allowed blacks access to the University's academic facilities without gratuitously challenging the prejudices of the wider white society. The historic role of liberals in the Senate, notably Professor R.F.A. Hoernle prior to his death in 1943, was to seek to open the University to black admissions; the liberal heirs of Hoernle never challenged the policy of social segregation at the University. Their efforts were directed rather towards obliging the errant departments, particularly Dentistry, to conform to the University's general policy of 'open' admissions. Black students, for their part, also refrained from launching any systematic campaign against the University's policy of social segregation. They sensed that for them to mount such a campaign would only prove counter-productive. Their concern throughout was to ensure access to the University's academic facilities. The focus of this paper is on the University of the Witwatersrand's admission policies between the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and the passage of the Extension of University Education Act in 1959. In 1934 already the University Counci1 had accepted the principle of normally admitting black students to lecture courses at Wits, but prior to 1939 only a very limited number of blacks had enrolled, largely because blacks continued to be excluded from a clinical training in both medicine and dentistry. The war itself served to accelerate the whole process by which Wits, and more especially the medical school, was opened up to blacks. By the war's end there were some 150 black students at Wits, including 82 in the medical school, out of a student population of three thousand.
- ItemAccommodation or protest? The rise of a wall decorating tradition in rural Southern Africa(1990-02-0613:26:32Z) Frescura, Franco
- ItemThe accumulation crisis in agriculture(1990-02-06T10:16:32Z) De Klerk, Mike
- ItemThe administration and control of migratory labour on the S.A. gold mines: Capitalism and the state in the era of Kruger and Milner(1975-04) Jeeves, A.H.Almost from its infancy the Witwatersrand mining industry grew up under the shelter of substantial government encouragement and support. Although spokesmen for the mines have always attempted to portray their impressive achievements as a triumph of free enterprise capitalism, the leaders of the industry themselves assiduously courted state assistance from the time of Kruger's republic onward.
- ItemAdministration of planning in Lesotho: a case-study : the Ramabanta's - Semonkong Road(1975-09) Hirschmann, D.Since it is understood that this will be the first of a few papers to be presented to this programme of seminars, it is intended that it serve the purpose of a somewhat simple introduction to the research I am carrying out in Lesotho. The focus of that research is concerned with the processes, machinery and administration of development planning in Lesotho. ‘Development planning’ is interpreted, not as the five-yearly preparation of a national plan, nor in orthodox terms involving a systematic process of research - preparation - formulation - review of programmes and plans, but in a somewhat broader and less formalistic sense, to cover those tasks which the Central Planning Office, the ministerial planning units, various planning committees etc. do in fact undertake; and this includes a rather more fragmentary list of functions such as the preparation of the annual capital budget, preparation of projects for donor assistance personnel, processing of scholarships, negotiations with visiting aid missions, etc.
- ItemAdversity and child development in South Africa: effects of socio-economic status and violence on functioning at age 4(1996-02-19) Barbarin, Oscar A.The social and political transformations currently under way in South Africa provide reasonable grounds for optimism about the future of this country and of most of its people. However the seeds of violence, social upheaval, and economic injustice planted and nurtured during the apartheid era continue to yield a bitter and abundant harvest. This enduring legacy of violence and poverty is endemic to the daily experiences of many African families(Ramphele) 1993). A purpose of this report is to review empirical data from an investigation of the development of South African children in order to determine whether socioeconomic status (marital status, educational status and access to material resources) and their concomitants (exposure to community and family violence) predict behavioral and emotional functioning. The central question to be addressed here can be stated as follows: By age 4 are the offspring of parents with limited access to material resources and who live in dangerous areas more likely to exhibit decrements or acquire competencies in behavioral and emotional domains than the offspring of their more advantaged counterparts?
- ItemAfrican advancement under apartheid(1995-10-16) Crankshaw, OwenAt the end of the 1960s, after South African capitalism had experienced a decade of unprecedented economic growth, scholars were deeply divided over the impact of this economic growth on racial inequality. Although the deepest differences were between liberal scholars who argued that economic growth would erode racial inequality and revisionists who argued the converse, there was little agreement even among revisionists on the extent and pattern of changes to the racial division of labour in South Africa. I shall argue that the reasons for the different estimates of the extent and pattern of African advancement are due to the limitations inherent in neo-Marxist theories of class and of the sources of data used by revisionists. To provide a reliable estimate of the extent and pattern of African advancement that overcomes some of these limitations, I have relied on a somewhat eclectic classification scheme that incorporates insights from labour process theory and Weberian class theory. Following the example of Simkins and Hindson, I turned to the Manpower Survey data instead of the Population Census because it provides a more detailed occupational classification and time series. The results of my analysis are restricted to the formal urban workforce. Following earlier analyses of African advancement, this study does not deal with the question of African unemployment. Although an analysis of unemployment would greatly enrich this study, there are no data which provide an occupational breakdown of the unemployed population. A study of the inequalities caused by unemployment therefore has to be conducted through an analysis of trends in wages and income which I have dealt with elsewhere.
- ItemAfrican and Coloured squatters in the Cape Town region: 1975-1978(1978-04-01T08:52:11Z) Maree, Johann
- ItemAfrican customary law: Its social and ideological function in South Africa(1983-10-13) Suttner, RaymondThe study of the terms and mode of application of African customary law in South Africa has generally been neglected both by lawyers and African Studies scholars. In the case of lawyers, there is little interest in a law potentially relevant to seventy per cent of the population - where that seventy per cent is for the most part unable to pay lawyers' fees. In the case of students of African studies, the segregated legal and judicial systems may seem of marginal consequence, in the light of the more serious disabilities that people experience through more patently repressive laws, such as those regulating influx control, resettlement, banishment etc., let alone laws concerning directly political activities. It would nevertheless be wrong, I shall try to show, to dismiss this area as unimportant or innocuous. This paper seeks to demonstrate how the special court and legal system set up to deal with civil cases between Africans, contributes ideologically, economically and socially, to the national oppression of the African people.
- ItemThe African National Congress comes home(1992-06-08) Lodge, TomTwo years of legal existence have enabled the ANC to acquire 900 branches, 500 000 signed-up members, a 20-storey office block in central Johannesburg, a fresh leadership, a democratic constitution, an elaborate administration, and an annual income which in 1990 topped R90-million. Its homecoming is consequently a story of considerable if uneven achievement. In February 1990, the ANC's leaders were suddenly confronted with the challenge of adapting an authoritarian and secretive movement formed by the harsh exigencies of exile to the requirements of a South African environment shaped by the tumultuous politics of the 1980s. Two years later, the process of changing the ANC into an organisation geared to open and democratic forms of popular mobilisation is far from complete. In 1992 the ANC still struggles to absorb and reconcile the experiences of three generations of leadership: the elderly veterans who emerged from decades of confinement on Robben Island; the middle-aged managers of an insurgent bureaucracy; and, finally, the youthful architects of the most sustained and widespread rebellion in South African history. ... To understand what the ANC has become in 1992, it is essential to know what kind of organisation it was in 1990. One way of doing this is through investigating its institutional structures and internal procedures. This is the approach which characterises most studies of the exile ANC during the 1980s. This literature depicts a most intricate and elaborate organisation which can be represented as an embryonic state - a ‘government-in-waiting’. It resembled a state in several respects.
- ItemAfrican nationalism, ethnic nationalism and the chieftainship. The case of Matsiketsane Mashile(1994-07-13T06:04:39Z) Ritchken, Edwin
- ItemAfrican political mobilisation in Brakpan in the 1950s(1989-03) Sapire, Hilary JoanWith the notable exception of Tom Lodge's recent work, much of the literature which addresses itself to the turbulent decade of African politics of the 1950s focuses almost exclusively on formal political organisations and their national leaders. Rarely do the roles and consciousness of local political figures and the "led" or rank and file come into view. The foreground is invariably occupied by national middle class African figures planning, forming alliances, overhauling the structures of their organisations and directing mass activity. Beyond this phalanx, we can barely make out the blurred and somewhat undifferentiated feature of the urban masses. Occasionally their profiles are illuminated in a "flashpoint" of class conflict or their actions may momentarily be sighted in a flare-up of rioting during one of the major political campaigns of the decade. But all too rarely are these moments of resistance situated in their immediate terrain. This absence of sensitivity to the sociology and social history of urban African communities of the 1950s is especially glaring, as it was in this decade that urban Africans were subjected to unprecedented measures of social restructuring and social engineering with the implementation of apartheid. Similar criticisms can be levelled at the writings of Marxist scholars who are concerned with the social composition and changing ideological discourse of the major political organisation of the period, the ANC. Like the institutional historians, they fail to locate the growth of political organisations and the development of a mass-based politics within the changing sociological realties of South Africa's towns and ci ties, and thereby to probe their assumptions about the history of urban African societies and the class bases of political movements. The institutional focus has also meant that a variety of urban constituencies, idioms of protest, ideologies and forms of consciousness which fed into the overall mass political culture of the decade rarely surfaces, while the social groupings which were neither reflected in nor embraced by the ANC, remain invisible in most accounts. The crucial role that "dummy" or "collaborationist" institutions, such as the Location Advisory Board could, and sometimes did play in mobilising African communities around the ANC programmes, for example, has been little understood. Conversely, although much direct action occurred outside the scope of formal organisation, many urban constituencies in which the ANC failed to strike strong roots, have been obscured or ignored altogether. The history of urban squatter movements in the 1950s is thus almost unknown. Finally, the institutional bias of historians has meant that the immense regional variations in political cultures and styles of protest have not been explained and that the notoriously uneven responses to the ANC campaigns of the decade have not been adequately understood. This paper does not aim to provide a comprehensive corrective but it is concerned, through the Brakpan case to point to aspects of urban social history which may enhance our understanding of the complexity and variability of black political mobilisation in the 1950s. It emphasises the value of examining the local permutations in the unfolding of the huge processes of industrialisation and African urbanisation and in the municipal administration of African communities for understanding popular responses to political organisation in the decade. Thus, this paper demonstrates the laggard industrial growth in Brakpan, the delayed implementation of apartheid social engineering and the peculiarly harsh administration of "the native location" had crucial implications for the social nature of political organisation and for the modes of resistance and protest employed.