Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database

Line
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Working class action and informal trade on the Durban docks, 1930s - 1950s
Author:Callebert, RalphISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 0305-7070)
Volume:38
Issue:4
Pages:847-861
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:dockworkers
informal sector
strikes
livelihoods
1930-1939
1940-1949
1950-1959
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070.2012.750917
Abstract:In this article, the author discusses the limited archival and other sources available regarding three important African dock leaders in Durban between 1931 and 1949: Dick Mate, Amos Gumede, and Zulu Phungula. Scholars have described Phungula in particular as a proletarian hero. However, the actions and discourse of these leaders exhibit a distinctive combination of working class radicalism and a concern for the interests of African petty traders. Their thinking was also often characterized by economic nationalism and anti-Indian sentiments. Interviews with some of the leaders of the 1958 dock strikes demonstrate a similar mixture of working class and entrepreneurial concerns. The author argues that these seemingly contradictory actions and discourses may not be inconsistent. The working class discourse was not simply an attempt by a petty bourgeoisie to appeal to African workers, as it was for some other African leaders, and Zulu nationalism was not a surrogate for repressed working class action. Instead, these different approaches to socio-economic advancement reflected the livelihood strategies of many dock workers, who combined formal wage labour with informal commercial enterprises. Moreover, their employment on the docks made these small-scale businesses possible and these activities were thus not just two separate sources of income; they were functionally linked and integral parts of households' livelihood strategies. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
Views

Cover