The Spirit of MarikanaThe rise of insurgent trade unionism in South Africa
- Publication Date: July 2016
- Dimensions and Pages: 210 x 145 mm 288 pp Soft cover, 3 photographs, 1 map
- Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-002-2
- PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-003-9
- Rights: South Africa (exclusive) Rest of Africa excluding Zimbabwe (open market)
- Recommended Price (ZAR): R350.00
Luke Sinwell and Siphiwe Mbatha open a window on the struggles of South African miners to overcome not only the opposition of the plutocratic mine owners, but also the opposition of the entrenched union establishment created in an earlier era of upheaval.
— Frances Fox Piven, political scientist and sociologist, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
The Spirit of Marikana highlights the crucial role of ordinary workers in changing history. A richly textured, path-breaking history of the labour
— Trevor Ngwane, South African socialist and anti-apartheid activist
On 16th August 2012, thirty-four black mineworkers were gunned down by the police under the auspices of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) in what has become known as the Marikana massacre. This attempt to drown independent workingclass power in blood backfired and is now recognised as a turning point in the country’s history. The Spirit of Marikana tells the story of the uncelebrated leaders at the world’s three largest platinum mining companies who survived the barrage of state violence, intimidation, torture and murder which was being perpetrated during
this tumultuous period. What began as a discussion about wage increases between two workers in the changing rooms at one mine became a rallying cry for economic freedom and basic dignity. This gripping ethnographic account is the first comprehensive study of this movement, revealing how seemingly ordinary people became heroic figures who transformed their workplace and their country.