AFRICA INVESTMENT-South Africa's migrant mine labour conundrum

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By Ed Stoddard

LUSIKISIKI, South Africa |
Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:00am EDT


LUSIKISIKI, South Africa Oct 17 (Reuters) – South Africa’s
system of migrant mine labour has come under renewed scrutiny,
with government and company officials blaming it for a host ills
bedeviling the industry and the country, including last year’s
wave of violent wildcat strikes.
But there is no easy fix for such an entrenched feature of
the social fabric and the cure is proving as bad as the disease
as it means job losses on a grand scale with devastating
consequences for what are now called the “labour-sending areas.”This migrant labour force, which built a gold industry that
has produced a third of the bullion ever mined, was sourced from
“homelands” far from the shafts where most black South Africans
were forced to to eke out an existence under apartheid.Many have also come from neighbouring countries such as
Lesotho and Swaziland.It generated vast profits, not least because migrants were
paid bachelor wages even if they had families to feed, and
controlled the movement of Africans as the workers were confined
to hostels on mine property.This system has outlasted white rule, which ended in 1994,
and is now in …

Source: “africa” – Bing News

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