Download PDF by Wilmot Godfrey James: Africa in the Age of Biology (Africa Human Genome

By Wilmot Godfrey James

ISBN-10: 0796920737

ISBN-13: 9780796920737

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26 Chinese Labour in South Africa, 1902–10 This represented a wholly new and unprecedented level of government interference in industry practices within the colony and also contradicted suggestions that Milner was merely a puppet for mining interests. Rather, he was happy to use government power to shape society. In line with this, in 1903 Milner helped obtain a £30 million loan directly from the British government, backed by the Bank of England at an especially favourable interest rate of four per cent.

In addition to using their newspapers, propaganda was organised through the Chamber of Mines itself. 23 They also set up an office in London to lobby in October 1903. 26 Opinion in the Transvaal did become less strident against the scheme, although a majority probably still objected. The threat of shutting the mines down does seem to have encouraged many miners that their jobs depended on securing Chinese indentured labour. 30 Chinese labour might bring fresh dangers but, without it, there would be an economic disaster in the region.

The stereotype that Africans were lazy and slow-witted was equally crucial in the decision that there was insufficient African labour and that other alternatives would have to be considered. Similarly, if the mines had not accepted a racialised labour hierarchy and the stereotype of the Chinese as ideal working machines, Chinese labour would never have been requested. The idea that races had to be in competition with each other also ensured that Asiatic importation could be a threat to white supremacy and therefore that they would only be imported under tight restrictions.

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Africa in the Age of Biology (Africa Human Genome Initiative) by Wilmot Godfrey James


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