Week 10

This week we read Marikana: Voices from South Africa’s Mining Massacre which looks deeply into the perspective of local voices on the Marikana Massacre, especially the workers and miners that were involved. This massacre which has affected so many workers or miners, through state violence. Workers went of strike in order to force wage’s to be increased to a more fair level, these strikes lead to many deaths. This book explores the use of violence in the face of protests, and the excessive violence that many felt was done. This marikana massacre happened in late 2012, this book was published in 2013, almost a year later. This I feel is important context as it gives voice to the people at the time they need that voice heard. To be able to interview and write about the massacre in a years time shows the commitment of the authors to show the issue. Voices such as those in this book can only be heard because of this passion in the authors. There may be many massacres, deaths, and injustices that are not known because the voices can never be heard. Even this narrative would not be know by myself without this class. How important is it to have this perspective of the local to understand these injustices? How important is an academic publication to these voices? Would the same perspective and voices be heard in any other narrative?
This voice gives accounts of the affects of the massacre, the authors allow for the lower class to be heard. Those that revolt and protest their own conditions in order to be heard by the corporations and government of South Africa. Mining is an illustrious business in Africa but is very much seen to be exploitive of its laborers and regulations. Through narratives such as this it brings perspective for those around the world, but what is the point of this? Is this narrative going to speak to South Africa, or be interpreted by the international academics? Who is this narrative meant to inform, is it meant to provoke change or prevent further massacres? Does this apply only to South Africa’s mining industry, or to question other countries industries?
Class systems and exploitation are important issues in this book as well, as seen with the lower class miners being treated so unjustly. This gap is important in the context of development, while mining is a positive economic system. The affects of this positive does not make it to the lower classes. This gap is seen throughout our course, and can be seemingly ignored. That is the other importance of this idea of ‘voices’, the usual ignored are able to be heard. The gap that is hidden in development needs to be a focus. It must be heard and is what these authors are attempting.


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