Hill with white crosses

Part Two

The fate of the families

Mapping where the victims of the Marikana massacre came from is a concise reflection of the migrant labour system in Southern Africa. The majority of the miners who died in Marikana came from the Eastern Cape, which, because of spatial and economic marginalisation through colonialism and the creation of Bantu homelands during apartheid, has, historically, been a source of cheap black labour.

Men are willing to send their bodies to work far from their homes and families because there is so little development and even fewer job opportunities in these rural areas.

Likewise, the four affected families from Lesotho and the Gadlela family in Swaziland complete the picture of how South Africa’s mining sector is dependent on underdevelopment in the rural areas of this country, and its poorer, much smaller, neighbours, to feed its furnace.

Paul Botes discusses the photographs.