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Transcript of mineral revolution
in South Africa
Discovery of Diamonds
Kimberley - 1867 (1st diamonds discovered at Vaal River)
changed the way society functioned:
Before the discovery: people lived off the land
economy revolved around agriculture and trade
most of the changes that occurred in SA centered
around the diamond and gold industries
New towns and cities were built
new classes of people: urban workers and rich mine- owners
After discovery of diamonds at the Vaal
people rushed to make
area of ground.
you can sell any diamond you find on your claimed land
Diamonds @ Colesberg Kopje:
Largest deposit of diamonds found here.
It is here that the town of Kimberley developed.
British took control of diamond fields.
Became part of Cape Colony.
As die mines became deeper
became more difficult for diggers to dig out the diamonds
expensives machines and man power needed
Early claims were replaced by big companies
they controlled the mining industry in Kimberly
These companies could afford the machines needed for deep level mining
like: steam engines
One of these companies: De Beers consolidated mines
Activity 5. 1
p. 129 in textbook
Black workers on the mines
work divided according to race
mining companies made laws that only apply to black workers
All black workers must have a labour contract
must be registered
Must show pass on demand
Failing to do so - arrested
Compounds = no freedom and no privacy
When gold mining started: Diamond mine owners - move to gold mining.
Ideas on how to control mine workers
Natives Land Act 1913
Divide the country's land between black and white people
Most land: reserved for white people
black farmers not allowed to rent from white people
Can only work as a labourer for a white farmer otherwise they need to move to the area reserved for black people.
Land Act: resulted in many leaving their land
Move to cities = more mine workers
Only allowed to live in the city with a pass (labour contract)
Economic changes: Class structure developed.
Some people became very rich vs the poor.
Political: Desire to control diamond + gold areas = tension.
Caused unrest amongst various groups
Outbreak of wars.
Sparked further interest amongst the British - to control whole of SA.
Diamond mining - huge demand for labour
Increase in African migrant workers.
(3 to 6 month contracts)
The Compound system:
* Black workers lived in company compounds
* Away from white accommodation
* Limited control over company compounds
* Conditions - terrible
- pneumonia in winters
- not enough food
- not enough shetler
Compounds: Gave mine owners better control over workers.
- prevent diamond smuggling
- searched at the end of contract instead of everyday.
Larger companies decide on closed compound system.
Built to confine black workers
Situated on the mining site.