Viewing page 5 of 17
It looks like you're using a mobile device. We recommend using a physical keyboard for transcription entry.
Transvaal, on some of the farms, often no wages at all are paid, where wages are paid they are as low as 2 or 3 shillings per month, with cast off clothing, refuse and other pieces of animals killed for the master's needs, thrown in. In reality and actual practice the natives are nothing more than serfs, semi-serfs and slaves. In the Transvaal in 1929 only £96,000 was spent for native education while £3,000,000 was spent for European education; there are usually only two or three schools for 20,000 native children. In the Union in 1928 there were 324,706 native students in school up to the fourth grade, everything above fourth grade is considered "higher Education", but in reality there is no higher education for the natives. For the training of natives in these schools the state grants only £340,000 yearly. During 1928 there were 342,033 European children in school; the state grants an average of £7,000,000 yearly for their training. It is clear under these conditions that everything is being done in health neglect, in lack of education, in industry and in agriculture to keep the natives from advancing. One South African puts it quite bluntly: "It becomes a question of preservation of white civilization. If we want to hold our own we must exterminate the natives." Imperialist Robbery - Development of Native Proletariat With the discovery of minerals natives were forced into the mines, and with this began the growth and the development of a native proletariat. But the great mineral wealth, and profits from industrial and agricultural products go to the British imperialists and the white bourgeoisie. From the time that gold was first discovered an endless flow of this precious metal has poured into the coffers and banking houses of the white rulers and foreign imperialists, principally Great Britain. From 1868 to 1929 £1,005 million of gold was produced; from 1884 to 1929 229,051,118 fine ounces was refined (40% of the gold produced by the entire world during this period). The value of all other minerals produced since 1884, including diamonds, coal, copper, tin, etc., was over £405 million. Diamonds was first in value at £294 million; coal was second in value at £84,062,894; the total mineral production since earliest times has been valued at £1472 million. The value of the manufactured products for South Africa, since 1911 has been over £2 1/2 billion Foreign trade is one of the most important items and sources of income for the bourgeoisie. From 1906 to 1929 the export trade was £1,900 million. In the mining industry since 1922 an average of £8 1/2 million in wages or £29 for each worker. During the same time 35,386 Europeans received £8,000,000 yearly or an average of £200 per worker; the bosses took over £20,000,000. In 1918 the total income of the mining industry was £47,737,738 of this £18 1/2 million went as wages for all the workers, the natives receiving £7 1/2 million of this; the net proceeds to the bosses were £22,000,000. Or take 1928. The mines earned £66,406,372, of this 20 million went for wages; less than £9 million went to 321,087 natives; over £10 million went to 38,000 Europeans; the bosses put away £46 1/2 million. These are enormous figures, and while it may be difficult for the average native worker to grasp the full significance of them, still it is important for him, carefully to study them in order to know who the robbers are and to raise his class consciousness, understanding that his "purpose" in life is not to be a slave for the exploiters, (as he is taught by their agents, preachers,etc.) but that it is his duty and task to struggle to overthrow the robbers and oppressors and help to organize the distribution of the wealth to toilers and workers who produce it. These figures show that not only the huge profits made by the capitalists and the imperialists, but the super wages paid the European workers is done at the 10 expense of the Native workers. The wages of the upper sections of white workers is sometimes 600% and usually 400% higher than the wages of the native workers. Even the Federated Chamber of Industry is forced to admit that the wages paid the European workers is due to, and dependent upon, the employment of large numbers of native workers. The white worker in South Africa however is fast losing his favored position. The bosses are not only bringing natives in as unskilled labourers but they are using them as semi- and skilled workers, in many cases displacing the whites. The position of the white workers is becoming worse. Their attitude to the native worker only help the bosses. The conditions of both black and white are being lowered. The wage of a semi-skilled native worker in Durban is not more than £3 per month, usually only £2 1/2. The cost of maintaining a native family, even according to state figures, is 6/10 per month. In wide sections of the mining fields there has not been an increase of wages for the natives for over 30 years. Compound live of the native workers is most terrible. It is worse than herding cattle into pens, conditions of this kind are worse than slavery, the "Nigger" should be ruled with a Sjambok (a whip) they say, and in the mines the whips are used freely every day. These conditions should not be endured by any human being. The natives through taxation are forced from the reserves by the thousands to the towns to earn a living. Being unfamiliar with city conditions and industrial life they are forced into competition with the workers already there, which lowers the wages of all the workers. There is no trade union organization to bring the workers together to fight the bosses. The living level of the native workers can be judged by the fact that all they own or expect to own is a blanket, and perhaps a few cooking things. They have a little rice or some dried fish to eat. By lying figures the imperialists try to show that unemployment does not affect the natives. But it is only through the tribal habits, of sharing and dividing food that the unemployed natives receive any relief and native unemployment is disguised. Also, despite the insistence of the mine-owners that few workers are hurt by the negligence of the owners in providing safety devices, still figures show that a very small item is spent by the mine-owners for the safety of the mines, some mines have been allowed to run so many years without repairs that "costs of repairing then now is prohibitive". The main difficulty and weakness of the native proletariat is the lack of Trade Union Organization, especially in mining and the most important and basic industries. Tasks of the Native Proletariat of South Africa In 1930 there were 354,330 native workers in the mining industry; constituting 90% of the workers in this industry. There are over 125,000 native workers in the production or manufacturing industries, constituting around 65% of the workers, in transportation there are around 40,000, constituting about 35% of the railroad workers. In the lesser trades and crafts, like clothing, bakeries, food, etc., there are a few. In all the industries of South Africa the native workers constitute the vast majority around 75%, the other 25% are largely the favoured whites. In agriculture there are around a half million native workers, with a sprinkling of whites. The first and foremost task of the class conscious workers of South Africa is the organization of the workers in these basic industries - mining, manufacturing, transportation, and the agricultured workers. The fundamental weakness of the South African workers is the lack of organization in these industries. These 11
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact email@example.com.