1903 Apartheid installed thanks to the mining industry

1903 Apartheid installed thanks to the mining industry, following the Anglo-Boer War, the English used many ‘unemployed’ military personnel to install structures of registration of the African Male in the old Transvaal and OFS.

“Then, in 1911, a Labour Act was passed to make it impossible for the blacks, who were considered uncivilised, to do certain work on the mines. Much of this was the joint work of landowners, the mines and industry, manipulating the available labour.”

“Labour recruitment became part of a joint mining and government initiative, as they struggled to establish a system where wages of the labourer was kept to a minimum. By 1903 pass offices existed in all major mining towns with four in Johannesburg. Finger printing was started in Johannesburg and spread to all offices. In 1908, a new office in Driehoek was opened, and all migrants were processed there. When the workers arrived by train from Mozambique, Lesotho, and the Eastern Cape, they were shepherded there, driven in like cattle. Here a ‘senior white official’ through a translator would ask if the worker accepted the terms of the contract, the official’s signature was used as confirmation should there be any dispute later.”

“Sirs, some of you will know, in 1921 two thousand whites were to be retrenched, following the economy down-turn after the world war. The whites believed that they were going to be replaced by blacks, so they protested, causing a war in Johannesburg, where seven thousand government troops reclaimed Johannesburg, and two hundred and fifty died. At this stage the English had no sympathy for the Afrikaner; the leaders of the strike were hanged, with hardly a trial. Strangely these poor whites were very socialist, yet linked to the capitalist by the colour of their skin. In 1924 the Smuts government was removed, mainly by the white unionists who blamed him for being a tool of the big business.”

“Despite all the rhetoric of what the intentions were, on the side the government admitted its intention to ‘counteract the force of economic advantages at present enjoyed by the ‘civilised’ native. Ever since the early 1900s, the manipulation of Land, the usage of Labour on the mines, was driven by the removal of the development being achieved by what they called the ‘civilised native’.”

“The ‘civilised native that was invading the ‘white economy’.”

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Soweto Walking Tour


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