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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Treating White Poverty in Interwar South Africa: 'Civilised Labour' and the Construction of Groote Schuur Hospital, 1926-1938
Author:Phillips, Howard
Periodical:South African Journal of Economic History
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:labour policy
construction industry
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
Labor and Employment
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:Central to the South African State's interwar labour policy was the notion of 'civilized labour' with its preference for White labour. This was part of a package of de facto racially discriminatory measures launched in 1924 by the new Pact government to relieve White poverty and unemployment and uplift unskilled White workers, largely at the expense of their African contemporaries. This article sees the Groote Schuur Hospital construction project in Cape Town (1927-1937) as giving direction to the wider policy of 'civilized labour', which exacted a high price on those banished to the edge of or entirely beyond the racially exclusive circle of 'civilization'. The project's contribution to 'scientifically' proving the economic case for 'civilized labour' in general and the superiority of White over Coloured labour in particular, lent credence to the State's policy of favouring the former against the latter in the employment of 'civilized labour' nationally after 1929. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]