Who mines what belongs to all? A historical analysis of the relationship between the state and capital in the South African mining industry

Zogg, Philipp Emanuel (2011-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the relationship between the state and mining capital in South Africa since the beginning of gold mining. It provides a historical analysis centered around the notion that neither state nor capital have been able to dominate each other wholly but retained their respective relative strength and independence. By applying a qualitative approach, this thesis seeks to determine whether this notion still holds true today, how the relationship between the state and mining capital has evolved over time and by what factors was it determined. I suggest that structurally the nature of the state-capital relationship continues to endure fifteen years after apartheid. Accordingly the thesis is organized in terms of two critical junctures, one in the 1920s and one in the long 1970s when the balance of power between the state and mining capital experienced a number of shifts. Recent developments in post-apartheid South Africa seem, as of now at least, to represent more of a continuation of the shift that materialized in the long 1970s rather than a new conjuncture of its own or one in the making. Contrasting these findings with the adamant calls of the ANCYL for a nationalization of mines indicates that nationalization as the ANCYL foresees it does not seem to be informed by a historical understanding of the mining capital-state relations and that it is ceteris paribus unlikely to materialize.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die tesis ondersoek die verhouding tussen die staat en mynbou kapitaal in Suid-Afrika sedert die begin van die goudwedloop. Op grond van ’n historiese oorsig word daar aan die hand gedoen dat nòg die staat nóg mynbou kapitaal mekaar oorheers het en dat hierdie tendens vyftien jaar na apartheid steeds voortduur. Die magsbalans tussen die staat en kapitaal word egter gekenmerk deur twee uiteenlopende periodes, naamlik die Twintiger jare en die langdurige Sewentigs. Verwikkelinge in post-apartheid Suid-Afrika suggereer ’n voortsetting van die dinamika van die Sewentigs. Volgens onlangse uitlatings deur die ANC Jeugliga blyk dit asof die beweging nie bewus is van die kompleksiteit van hierdie historiese verhouding nie en dat dit dus hoogs onwaarskynlik is dat nasionalisering in terme van ANC Jeugliga beleid die lig sal sien.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6807
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