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date: 19 April 2021

The History of Migrant Labor in South Africa (1800–2014)locked

  • Peter DeliusPeter DeliusDepartment of History, University of the Witwatersrand

Summary

A pervasive system of migrant labor played a fundamental part in shaping the past and present of South Africa’s economy and society and has left indelible marks on the wider region. South Africa was long infamous for its entrenched system of racial discrimination. But it is also unique in the extent to which urbanization, industrialization, and rural transformation have been molded by migrant labor. Migrancy and racism fed off each other for over a century, shaping the lives and deaths of millions of people.

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