South Africa 1867 – 1910: Treatment of Mine Workers

////South Africa 1867 – 1910: Treatment of Mine Workers

South Africa 1867 – 1910: Treatment of Mine Workers

Black and white workers on a South African mine.

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: South Africa 1867 – 1910: Treatment of Mine Workers

  • The gold mine owners borrowed lessons from the Kimberly experience
  • Workers were employed on a contract basis as they would be easier to regulate and discipline
  • The labour force was divided discriminately into two:
  • Africans who were lowly skilled to semiskilled and
  • white settlers who were very skilled and experienced
  • The wages were also divided with Africans getting very little whilst whites demanded high wages
  • About 100 000 African men were contracted to do the hard labour
  • The mining groups put a low ceiling on the wages of natives
  • However there was no limit for the wages for whites as they had to compete with the wages of those in North America and Australia
  • The compounds were the gold mine workers lived were characterized by poor living conditions such as over crowdedness and poor sanitation
  • Men slept in male dormitories away from their families
  • Mine workers also worked in very poor conditions such as poor ventilation in mines, poor lighting and no running water
  • They were not given adequate protective gear and were exposed to many work related injuries and accidents
  • They also were not compensated for any injuries incurred at work
  • African workers were subjected to long waking hours of hard labour whilst Europeans had supervisory jobs
  • The workers were also subjected to harsh treatment such as whipping and other forms of punishment
  • African were burdened by heavy taxes and it forced them to seek employment in the gold mines so that they could pay taxes

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.

By |2017-02-23T05:37:59+00:00February 23rd, 2017|Notes, O Level History Notes, Ordinary Level Notes|Comments Off on South Africa 1867 – 1910: Treatment of Mine Workers

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She holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Social Work from Bindura University. She has a passion for helping others and has been involved in numerous academic and social projects.
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