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Labour and employment for Blacks in Apartheid era South Africa
Transcript of Labour and employment for Blacks in Apartheid era South Africa
The Bantu Education Act of 1953 created bigger gaps in educational opportunities to keep the black education inferior
Minister of Native Affairs
Minster of Native Affairs, Dr. Verwoerd
‘’There is no space for him [the "Native"] in the European Community above certain forms of labor. For this reason it is of no avail for him to receive training which has its aim in the absorption of the European Community, where he cannot be absorbed. Until now he has been subjected to a school system which drew him away from his community and misled him by showing him the greener pastures of European Society where he is not allowed to graze.’’
The Extension of University Education in 1959 prohibited established universities from accepting black students
In 1948 The National Party changed the educational system leaving Africans for low-wage labor to protect the privileged white minority from competition
Graduates were required to be proficient in both Afrikaans and English
Labor and employment for Blacks in Apartheid era South Africa
Africans had few prospects for employment for those who had only minimal educational credentials
500,000 unskilled and uneducated young people faced unemployment and did not receive unemployment benefits
Per-capita government spending on black education was one-tenth of spending for whites
pass rates for black pupils in standardized graduation exams were less than one-half the pass rate for whites
Before the Apartheid...
At the start of the twentieth century, in 1910, the government saw the need for cheap labor to work on the mines and on farms. The government needed to make sure that people did come to the towns, and for this reason they introduced taxes that needed to be paid. This meant that young men left their families for a while to come to the cities to earn some money. This money was then given over to the chief to pay taxes. This became known as the system of migrant labor
The system of migrant labor led to some problems developing in black society:
Young men sometimes could not marry until they had done a certain amount of labor for the chief
families were broken
Women and children were left alone to care for the farms
Men an women, and even children experienced severe emotional distress and loneliness
Men became used to the Western culture, some then refusing to return to their farm
A loss of traditional and tribal culture.
The situation with regard to labour and land remained more or less the same during the apartheid period. With regard to labour, the policy of protected labour remained in place, strengthened by the Bantu Education Policy. The system of migrant labour continued, although more black people started settling in white areas, leading to the establishment of townships. Many men continued to come to the city without their wives, which led to the deterioration of the family system and unfaithfulness in marriages. Workers in the mines had to stay on the mine premises where their wives could not stay. They stayed in rooms with many other men. Women increasingly came to the towns to get work as domestic workers, leaving their children behind to be looked after by other family members.
The Civilized Labor Policy
The Civilized Labor Policy was implemented by Hertzog's Pact government in the early 1920s. The policy was put in place in order to replace Black workers with Whites (typically poor Afrikaners). The policy was enforced in government jobs and in mining sector through appropriate legislation
The Civilized Labor Policy was seen as a method of maintaining political support amongst the poor Whites, and was a major step towards the creation of Apartheid segregation 30 years later.
Civilized Labor Policy, during the apartheid era, protected the wage levels of white workers and left employers free to hire blacks at wages as low as possible
The whites depended on the blacks for cheap labor in their farming and manufacturing businesses. By this point, South Africa had become urbanized and the movement of blacks in the urban area intensified the relationship between both races. 50% of the black population became urban dwellers, living under the white controlled government and worked for whites businesses and in white homes.
The labor of black people had become a support of South Africa's economy, but with wage discrimination.
Bantustan or Black Homelands...
A Bantustan was a territory primarily set aside for black inhabitants of South and West Africa as part of the policy of apartheid. These homelands suffered greatly from a lack of labor. The black population, which in fact had the highest percentage of employable youth in its workforce worked in the white-owned cities, mines and factories at very low wages. Apartheid policies was design to diminish the work in the homelands so that they will be forced into the white premises.
Advantages of the Bantustans to the
South Africa would be guaranteed a steady flow of cheap labor
Not have to worry about passing any type of minimum wage laws or legal rights to the workers because they were not technically South African citizens
Labor and Politics
From the 1950s until the early 1990s, black workers suffered systematic discrimination. Apartheid legislation authorized the "reservation" of many skilled jobs and managerial positions for whites; qualified blacks were legally excluded from most senior-level jobs, but black education standards were so inferior to those for whites that few blacks were qualified for well-paid jobs. Even in equivalent job categories, blacks received lower wages than whites.
Throughout South Africa's industrial history, workers of all races organized to demand better wages and working conditions, but through the early 1980s, almost all union leaders were white. Some employers refused to negotiate with black representatives , partly because of legal restrictions on black labor organizations. The Industrial Conciliation Act of 1924, which governed many aspects of labor relations, redefined the term,
, to exclude most blacks; the definition was amended by the Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act (No. 48) of 1953 to exclude all blacks, thereby depriving them of any labor law protection.
Time for some questions.......
Farm workers are among the lowest paid of all workers in South Africa. Whenever possible, men seek other forms of employment, but as women hardly ever have this option, they have increasingly been drawn to the white farms.
Women also worked as service workers, or domestic servants.
Women domestic workers have to carry double the burden of their own and their employer`s household chores
children often left unattended at home
From 1973, there were no African lawyers, judges, magistrates, engineers. architects, chemists, pharmacists or veterinary surgeons
The small number of professional and office workers reflects the basic lack of education provided to Africans
1. How would you feel if others were being privileged over you, despite equal qualifications?
2. Do you think the labor of the blacks was unjust?
3.Temporarily place yourself in the shoes of the Black South Africans. How would you feel, and what would you do if you found out you had to leave your family, to work in mines for very low wages?