Strikes and Boycotts in South Africa, 1978-1982
Maps Cape Provinces, South Africa Map 1: The Cape Province in Relation to South Africa, 1972–1994. xvi Maps Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape Province) Map 2: Port Elizabeth and Surrounding Areas, 1978–1982. Maps xvii Cape Town (Western Cape Province) Map 3: Cape Town and Surrounding Areas, 1978–1982. xviii Maps East London (Eastern Cape Province) Map 4: East London and Surrounding Areas, 1978–1982. Chapter 1 Introduction Popular protest in South Africa exploded in unprecedented fashion during the 1980s, signalling a decisive turning point in the country’s political tra- jectory and contributing directly to the subsequent fall of the apartheid government. Masses of South Africans employed an array of tactics such as demonstrations, negotiations, petitions and armed resistance to challenge the apartheid state from nearly every angle. In the latter half of the 1980s, boycotts became the most widely used strategy against state repression.1 Workers initiated employment stayaways, students withdrew from classes, local residents refused to pay rent and township youth sought to destabilise local institutions through consumer boycotts. As a result, black disengage- ment from white-owned businesses and government structures became a major feature of mass resistance in South Africa during the 1980s. This book explores political movements in South Africa during a critical period in the development of these mass struggles and focuses on strikes and boycotts in particular. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, recently launched independent trade unions assumed a dominant role in workplace and broader activism. This labour movement came to be referred...
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