Convener: C Naicker
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for a master's programme
This course is designed to equip students to think beyond the narrow confines of South African nationalist historiographies of liberation. It focuses on the experiences and narratives of the working people who resisted, negotiated and, in some cases, successfully changed the oppressive system of racial capitalism in its different avatars of colonialism and apartheid. It offers a map of the history of labour struggles in the country in both unionised and extra-union forms. Critically reflecting on several key processes, structures and moments over the long twentieth century – from the creation of a racialized system of labour in the late nineteenth century to the present-day state of disarray in the labour movement and the new struggles for urban land and access to the city – this course introduces students to the many connections between the past and the present, the rural and the urban, and the formal and the informal sectors of economy. Students are encouraged to understand how this history offers an opportunity to think different trajectories of resistance and struggle, solidarity, negotiation and nationhood.