Going for Broke: The Fate of Farmworkers in Arid South by Doreen Atkinson

By Doreen Atkinson

An research of a forgotten section of society—the farm staff who live to tell the tale distant farms. The writer argues that the query of farm employees is a part of a broader spectrum of monetary and social questions. A worthy examine explicitly aimed toward selling new ways, synergies, and partnerships among stakeholders like executive, cooperatives, municipalities, education firms, and farm-worker alternate unions. Atkinson bargains feedback that go beyond the South Africa rural event serving as a case learn for college students and practitioners of rural transformation within the constructing international.

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Extra info for Going for Broke: The Fate of Farmworkers in Arid South Africa

Example text

But it avoids or delays the creation of a proper labour market. This is typically because the commercial farmers cannot afford to pay competitive market wage rates to attract reliable labour supplies, particularly when competing with mining and industrial labour markets. During the formative capitalist phase in the history of racially divided societies, all élite economic sectors agree to keep political power within the hands of the dominant racial group. For the agricultural sector, political power enables capitalist farmers to acquire control of the land.

Such punishments included corporal punishment and imprisonment (Keegan 1986: 142–6). The full force of the criminal court in all its solemnity could be called into session to intimidate a recalcitrant worker threatening to leave his master’s employ, even where no criminal act had been committed. However, such government controls were often not very successful. Farm workers developed numerous evasive skills, ranging from forging passes to social sanctions against informers. The sheer difficulty of accessing magistrates in vast geographic areas and understaffed government agencies militated against farmers resorting to the police and the courts.

The unfree labour system was possible because the white agricultural lobby had strong representation in political parties and in Parliament for virtually the whole of the twentieth century. Leaders of agricultural unions frequently served as Members of Parliament. za to create an unfree labour system; it was used also to channel state revenue into agricultural subsidies and protectionism. After World War II, the state created the marketing boards, export and import controls, and credit arrangements that granted farmers almost unlimited price-fixing powers.

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