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The Labour History of South Africa in Source Materials

by Elias Mpofu

The foundation and settlement of the Cape Colony from the mid-seventeenth century heralded the introduction of European capital into the socio-economic life of southern Africa. It further brought about hitherto unprecedented levels of exploitation of the region’s resources and people in a region that had previously relied on subsistence, agricultural- pastoral economies.

The study considers four aspects of the period: merchant capitalism, agrarian capitalism, mining-industrial capitalism and the imperial factor. It aims to enhance understanding of South African labour history and the colonial history of southern and central Africa more generally, demonstrating that colonial policies tried and tested in South Africa, were frequently applied in the British colonies to the north.

ISBN 9780908307814 | 152 pages | 234 x 156 mm | B/W Illustrations and Maps | 2005 | University of Zimbabwe Publications, Zimbabwe | Paperback

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