The 1924 civilised labour policy

The 1924 civilised labour policy, in theory giving preference to the white, was aimed at ‘not requiring’ the local blacks within the mining, railway, and municipality ‘imported migrant labour pool’.

“The 1924 ‘civilised labour policy’, coincided with the government talking nationalising businesses, giving preferences to white employment, while at the same time restricting these poor whites progress through the same policy. Through till the 1930s large numbers of poor whites were employed by government, increasing their ratio from 45 to 64 percent of the working force.”

“By 1940, the mining industry reached a new high, employing three hundred and sixty-thousand labourers, with South Africa Eastern Cape, the Mfengu / Thembu base, providing their complement with one hundred and twenty-thousand; only thirty percent of the total labour complement.”

“The mining industry, other than having made many people extremely rich through controlling the cost of labour, did this country the greatest disservice, by employing more than fifty-four percent of foreign nationals in their labour force historically. This has drained money out of our country, while giving skills to other groups, non-South African peoples, all in the interest of making higher profits.”

“The recruitment agents were linked to authorities in the other countries that had the power to instruct the labour to go and work on the mines; they were sorted, contracted and sent to the mines. The authority was compensated for the labour provided, but only when they received the labourer back at the end of the contract period.”

“The South African labour force only comes from the Eastern Cape. This area was defeated by the English, in conjunction with their allies the Mfengu group, off which colonial leadership structures were put in place, those who were Christian and civilised were educated and favourably considered for employment, and, off this basis, the recruitment took place for the mines and municipalities, the educated and the leaders, influencing the ‘recruitment’ for the system.


Consider the Verdict

Soweto Walking Tour


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