[OPE-L] Political economy colloquium, Durban, 28 Feb - 4 March

From: Patrick Bond (pbond@MAIL.NGO.ZA)
Date: Fri Feb 24 2006 - 08:57:48 EST

Hi comrades on CCS-list, debate list, PEN-L and OPE-Lists (and feel free to 
forward this onward if you find interested readers),

The CCS Economic Justice Colloquium starts next Tuesday and runs through 
Saturday afternoon. A great deal of interesting material has come in, which 
we're processing and hoping to have put together by Monday in a coherent CD 
for those attending. If you can't come but want a sense of the discourses, 
we're now sending the early papers out; just email me at this address 
offlist: pbond@mail.ngo.za

To whet appetites and reintroduce everyone to some of the themes, especially 
'articulation of modes of production' with which we'll begin our 
deliberations next Tuesday, we have a couple of sections from a Michael 
Burawoy Wolpe Memorial lecture in July 2004 (which by the way we are 
publishing as the lead chapter in the brand new book Articulations to be 
launched on 28/2 at Ike's Books in central Durban). The sections cover 
strengths and weaknesses of the Wolpe thesis on class/race, 
capitalist/precapitalist relations. Burawoy isn't with us next week, but 
other work in this tradition will be considered, by a variety of political 
economists. We anticipate that two journals - Capitalism Nature Socialism 
and Review of African Political Economy - will carry many of these papers; 
and others will be produced by the Centre and our partners in other forms. 
Meanwhile, we can send the papers to you in batches of three if you'd like.





In cooperation with partners, the Centre for Civil Society will be opening 
thematic research projects on 'Economic Justice' in 2006. We will launch 
this theme by reviewing some of the finest traditions of South African, 
regional and global political-economic theory and contemporary analysis, and 
invite you to join us.

We are mainly concerned with market-nonmarket interactions and new forms of 
'primitive accumulation'. Given the sustainability and volatility problems 
that capitalism faces today, the time is opportune to consider whether 
formal markets, the informal economy and other nonmarket aspects of society 
and nature are divorced or interconnected. Under contemporary conditions of
'globalisation', does the fight against exploitation, racism, sexism and 
ecological destruction require contesting the market itself? If so, how?

Four scholar-activists - Harold Wolpe in South Africa, Guy Mhone and José 
Negrão in Southern Africa and Rosa Luxemburg in Europe - developed 
consistent arguments about the way market
forces systematically exploit other modes of production, society (especially 
women's unpaid labour, via racist colonialism) and the natural environment. 
In Pretoria, government explains this legacy as 'first and second economies' 
and claims a 'developmental state' is being built to fix matters. How do we 
understand it - and what do we do about it?

Social scientists will be addressing the problems from 28 February through 2 
March, in an event open to the public (decommodified - no conference fee). 
On 3-4 March, activists from across KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and the 
region are especially invited to help move from analysis to praxis, with 
open discussions and strategic debates in the framework of the Rosa 
Luxemburg Political Education Seminar.


28/2 - SOUTH AFRICA (Dedication to Harold Wolpe)

Ann-Marie Wolpe (Wolpe Trust)
Michael Perelman (CalState)
Ari Sitas (UKZN)

Caroline Skinner & Imraan Valodia (UKZN)
Renato Palmi (UKZN)
Sthembiso Bhengu (UKZN)
Richard Pithouse (UKZN)

Nina Hunter (UKZN)
Hein Marais (ind.)
Devan Pillay (Wits)
Mark Butler (groundWork)

David Hemson (HSRC)
Simon Mapadimeng (UKZN)
Lubna Nadvi (UKZN)
Richard Ballard (UKZN)

Isobel Frye (Naledi)
Charles Meth (UKZN)
Bill Freund (UKZN)
Ashwin Desai (UKZN)

Vishnu Padayachee (UKZN)
Margaret Legum (SANE)
David Masondo (Wits)
Martin Legassick (UWC)

Booklaunches at Ike's Books, 48a Florida Road

Articulations: A Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture Collection
(editor: Amanda Alexander, CCS; copublished by AWP)

Dennis Brutus: Poetry and Protest
(UKZN Press & Haymarket Press)

Tributes: Vonani wa ka Bila (Timbila), Mphutlane Bofelo and Pinky Magwaza 
(Jubilee SA)


1 MARCH - SOUTHERN AFRICA AND AFRICA (Dedications to Guy Mhone and José 

Adebayo Olukoshi (Codesria)

Lloyd Sachikonye (UZ)
David Moore (UKZN)
Horacio Zandamela (Wits)
Judica Maketha (ILO)

Tandeka Nkiwane (Unisa)
John Daniel (HSRC)
Riaz Tayob (Seatini)
Patrick Bond (UKZN)

Mohau Pheko (Genta)
Dennis Brutus (Jubilee SA)
Horman Chitonge (UKZN)

The Great Trek North by Console Tleane
Personal Tributes to Guy Mhone and José Negrão: Yvonne and Pat
Mhone, Omano Edigheji (CPS), Sabina Asselle, Patrick Bond (UKZN),
Horacio Zandamela (Wits) and Tawanda Mutasah (Osisa)


2 MARCH - GLOBAL (Dedication to Rosa Luxemburg)

Jeff Guy (UKZN)
Nicola Bullard (Focus on the Global South)
Arndt Hopfmann (RLF)

Massimo De Angelis (U.of E.London)
Ahmed Veriava (UKZN)
Prishani Naidoo (UKZN)
David Whitehouse (ISR)

Elmar Altvater (Free University)
Gill Hart (Berkeley)

Joel Kovel (CNS)
Virginia Setshedi (FXI)
Rehana Dada & Trusha Reddy (UKZN)
Salim Valley (Wits)

Arndt Hopfmann (RLF)



The Rosa Luxemburg Educational Seminar 2006 will air political-economic 
ideas, strategies, tactics and debates amongst social, labour and 
environmental activists from KZN province, SA and the region. Resource 
people include Elmar Altvater, Vanessa Black, George Dor, Des D'Sa, Ulrich 
Duchrow, Lenny Gentle, Joel Kovel, Muna Lakhani, Thabo Madihlaba, Ntwala 
Mwilima, Trevor Ngwane, Bobby Peek, Karen Read, Greg Ruiters, Virginia 
Setshedi and S'bu Zikode.

'Accumulation of capital in national, regional and global perspective'

Film screening of »Rosa Luxemburg« by Margaretha von Trotta (Including 

'Popular resistance to the accumulation of capital'




II: Liberation: Modes of production, the state, and class analysis

We begin with Wolpe's classic paper, 'Capitalism and Cheap Labour-Power in
South Africa: From Segregation to Apartheid', which helped to transform our
understanding of South Africa.13 Here he takes issue with two literatures:
on the one hand the literature of the South African Communist Party with its
internal  colonial model and the more conventional sociological literature
that saw South  Africa as a plural society held together by coercion.
Paradoxically both assess South  Africa in a similar way, namely as a
society in which racial divisions - the domination  of white over black -
trump all others. The SACP defined South Africa as an archaic  colonial
superstructure fettering the spontaneous development of capitalism. This
gave political priority to the National Liberation struggle that would
mobilise  Africans against apartheid, and either immediately or in a second
stage, bring South  African capitalism down with it.14 Wolpe develops a more
contingent understanding of the relation between racism and capitalism,
insisting that apartheid was not simply the deepening  of segregation but
reflected the transformation of the underlying economic  order. But here
again he locates himself against two opposed alternatives: his economic
turn dwelt neither on the racial division of labour nor on the distinction
between forced and free labour,15 but on the articulation of capitalist and
pre-capitalist  modes of production. He brought to life this rather arcane
conceptualisation by  showing how it could be used to describe the
specificity of the South African racial  order. It proved to be Wolpe's most
significant contribution to the theory of racism as well  as the analysis of
South Africa.

The African redistributive mode of production, based on kinship, cattle and
tilling the land subsidised the reproduction of labour power, so that
capitalists, especially mining capital, could pay their workers a wage that
corresponded  to little more than what was necessary to maintain a single
worker. The wage did not  have to support children, elderly, disabled, women
so long as the reserves - 13  per cent of the land area into which Africans
were herded in accordance with the 1913  Natives Land Act - did indeed
provide a subsistence existence. This was the period  of Segregation when
the state's function was to maintain the circulatory flow  of African
migrant labour between town and country, by protecting the reserves from
white expropriation on the one hand and by making it difficult for Africans
to  settle permanently in urban areas on the other.

Segregation prevailed, Wolpe claims, from 1870 to the 1930s whereupon
population pressure, soil erosion, and the concentration of land ownership
began to undermine the reproductive role of the reserves. Rural
impoverishment led to  urban impoverishment, especially affecting workers in
the expanding manufacturing sector, leading to intensified class struggles
in the 1940s, and creating a  deep crisis for the political regime. A new
mechanism for producing cheap labour had to  be found: either the racial
order (with its color bars, limited education for  blacks, migrant labour
system, etc.) would be modified to allow Africans to take  over positions
monopolised by the white labour aristocracy or the latter - by  combining
with Afrikaner farmers - would shore up the racial order with intensified

The latter solution - Apartheid - won the day and cheap African labour was
perpetuated not through the reproduction of pre-capitalist modes of
production but through an elaborate political and ideological edifice that
outlawed African organisations, regulated urban residence, and turned the
reserves into  dependent homelands, or, as they were officially called,
Bantustans - satrapies for a  small African elite.

'Capitalism and Cheap Labour-Power in South Africa' became a foundation
stone for a new research program into the study of South Africa, the extent
of which I cannot explore here. Rather I will follow the logic of Wolpe's
own  contribution.

Focusing on the mechanisms of the reproduction of cheap labour turned his
attention to the state. In the original formulation, the state was a mere
reflection of the need for cheap labour. It did what it had to do - maintain
cheap labour  power - because that was its function! But how was it that the
state so effectively  and seemingly miraculously always managed to create
the conditions for the reproduction of cheap labour power? How was it that
it understood what to do  and had the capacity to do it? Was this animal
acting of its own accord or at  the behest of a master? The knee jerk
response of Marxism has always been that the state  is an instrument of the
capitalist class. And indeed such crude views were often  found in the SACP
literature wherein the South Africa state was regarded as a species  of
fascism created by and for a unified capitalist class. But that assumed away
the problem. How was it that out of individual competing capitalists sprung
a coordinated ruling class that magically comprehended and enforced its
common interests? This was the point of departure for a group of Marxists -
known as the gang of four - influenced by one of the icons of Marxist
structuralism, Nicos  Poulantzas.16 They argued, following Poulantzas, that
the dominant class in capitalist  society was made up of class fractions
(mining capital, manufacturing capital, land  owners, merchant capital, etc.
in the case of South Africa) that become organised  into a 'power bloc' in
which one fraction - the hegemonic fraction - comes to  represent the
interests of all. In a series of essays and books the Poulantzians
periodised South Africa capitalism as a succession of different power blocs,
handing the  initiative for change to forces within the dominant class.
While not discounting this  approach altogether Wolpe took them to task for
neglecting the fundamental  contradiction between capital and labour but
also for continuing with an 'instrumentalist'  view of the state.17 Although
it was a major advance to break up the dominant class  into its different
fractions, still it was the hegemonic fraction that wielded the  state in
the general interest of capitalism. In identifying the hegemonic fraction by
the  policies the state pursued the Poulantzians assumed precisely what had
to be  demonstrated, namely that the state was indeed an instrument of some
hegemonic fraction.

The trouble with the instrumentalist view of the state, Wolpe argued, is
that when it is not tautological it too often lapses into its opposite. That
is  to say instrumentalists tend to work back from some given policy, say
pass laws and  influx control, to the fraction of capital that benefits, say
mining capital, and  concludes that the state is the instrument of mining
capital without ever showing that  mining capital was indeed the force
behind the legislation. Alternatively, when the state does something in
opposition to the supposedly reigning fraction of capital,  eg.when color
bars are introduced against the will of mining capital, then the
instrumentalist position has to be given up for one that stresses the
autonomy or potential autonomy of the state. From being an instrument of the
hegemonic  fraction it suddenly becomes a subject with a will of its own!
Here then, once again, Wolpe constructs a debate between two opposed
perspectives: the state as an object (instrument) and the state as subject

Both suffer from the assumption that the state is a unified organ whereas it
is made up of contradictory apparatuses between which, within which, and
over which  there is much contestation. The two opposed perspectives cancel
each other out and Wolpe comes away with his preferred theory: the state is
a contradictory  unity, neither subject nor object but a terrain of
struggle. The structure of the  state, therefore, shapes not only internal
struggles on its own terrain but also  influences external struggles in
civil society. Wolpe refocuses the debate onto the  nature of the state,
viewed not as an external object to be conquered, but as having a  specific
structure with specific effects.

This is all very abstract but Wolpe tries to make it concrete in his book
Race, Class and the Apartheid State.18 Its major thesis is that the state
creates  opportunities and sets limits on struggles both on its own terrain,
especially within and  among the judiciary, the legislature, executive, and
military, as well as outside the  state in civil society and the workplace.
Just as Wolpe's earlier work highlighted the discontinuity between
segregation and apartheid on the basis of economic  change, so now he seeks
to distinguish three periods within the era of apartheid on  the basis of
forms of state and their effects on patterns of struggle.

- In the first period, 1948-1960, the judiciary, although nominally
independent, became increasingly subordinated to the executive through
parliamentary  edicts. Even though spaces for political action were
increasingly restricted, mass  struggles nevertheless continued to expand,
culminating in the Sharpeville massacre of  1960.

- The second period from 1960 to 1973 saw the abandonment of even the
pretense of the rule of law, and the extra-parliamentary political terrain
was systematically destroyed, organisations were banned and activists
imprisoned. The liberation movements went underground and turned to armed
struggle. The  state responded with declarations of emergency, enhancing its
police powers and  closing down virtually all possibilities of reform.

- The third period, which Wolpe calls the 'rise of insurrectionary
struggles', begins in 1973 with the Durban strikes, and the Black
Consciousness Movement  in communities and schools. How are we to explain
these new developments? Certainly, as Wolpe claims, the state is not weaker.
If anything it has  become substantially stronger: the government arrogated
greater power both to  itself as well as to the military and security
forces. Along with the militarisation came a  series of reforms -
recognition of trade unions, representative bodies in urban areas,  greater
autonomy for Bantustans, tricameral legislature. While many maintained that
these reforms were a facade, Wolpe insisted that they opened spaces for the
mass democratic movement, which was also being fueled by changes in the

Let me recapitulate so as to better appreciate what Wolpe is up to. If his
first contribution was to identify the economic structure that underlay
apartheid,  that is, the (re)articulation of modes of production, and if his
second contribution  was to foreground the changing form of state that is
always creating new political possibilities as it sustains (or not) that
articulation of modes of  production, then the third contribution, to which
we come to now, was his analysis of class  formation, viewed as the combined
effect of economic and political structures. Thus, in  the analysis of the
third period Wolpe focuses on the way the economy  restructures the relation
between class and race. The concentration and increasing capital
intensivity of industry called for skilled blacks who moved into positions
vacated by  outwardly mobile whites. As compared to the migrant workers,
these 'urban insiders'  were better educated and had deeper routes in the
city, which therefore meant  increased class capacity of the most
unambiguous opponents of apartheid. At the same  time economic changes
reconfigured class interests within the white society.

Unprecedented growth in manufacturing and service sectors overtook mining,
so that ever larger fractions of capital depended on a wider and more stable
labour force that would not only produce more but also consume on a bigger
scale!  As capital's opposition to apartheid stiffened, so support for
apartheid from  white workers and the white petit bourgeoisie also waned.
They were displaced by a  black petit bourgeoisie, growing in the towns, and
the consolidation of a black 'bureaucratic bourgeoisie' in the Bantustans.
Wolpe warned, however, that  these classes - the black petit bourgeoisie in
the cities and bureaucratic  bourgeoisie of the Bantustans - also had a
growing interest in apartheid's racial segregation  of consumer markets and
administrative apparatuses.19

. 1: Producing cheap labour power

Wolpe's original argument was that under segregation cheap labour power had 
an economic basis - the homeland economies provided welfare for non-employed 
family members. As this economic
basis for cheap labour power eroded, it was replaced by political mechanisms 
of apartheid. This argument, however, overlooked new economic foundations of 
cheap labour and the political conditions of their reproduction.

· Where is gender? Amy Mariotti argued that the influx of women into the
apartheid labour force, in manufacturing but especially in service sector
and professions, such as teaching and nursing, turned multiple earner
families  into a new basis for cheap labour power. Still, the apartheid
system focused on the employment of black men. Today that is changing.

First, the expansion of consumerism increases clerical, service, and retail
jobs where women  prevail.

Second, as the unemployment of men increases, women are forced to become the
new breadwinners, the new migrant labourers traveling to urban areas for
employment as vendors, domestic workers, and sex workers. Xolani Ngonini has
argued that the men left behind in the reserves are unable to adapt to the
new circumstances, but women, already accustomed to flexible economic
strategies under apartheid, are better equipped to deal with destitution.
More generally, how are patterns of gender relations and kinship
organisation imbricated in the manufacture of cheap labour power?34

· The expansion of rural industrialisation. When Wolpe wrote his cheap 
power paper border industrialisation was little more than a paper program.
However, in the 1970s and 1980s capital did migrate to the new rural slums
created by forced removals from the black spots within agricultural areas.
Gillian  Hart writes of the textile and steel industries that moved to
KwaZulu-Natal where  they could exploit the dispossessed peasantry. What
have been the dynamics of  rural industrialisation and with what
consequences for the African working  class?35

· Global connections. When he
referred to the erosion of subsistence in the homelands and later
Bantustans, Wolpe overlooked the transnational migration  of workers from
all over Southern Africa (Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique) not just to the
mines but to other urban occupations such as domestic work.  Today we see an
influx of immigrants from all over Africa as South African cities  become
the regional consumer and industrial Mecca. By the same token, South African
mining, manufacturing, and retail capital migrates northwards, just as
foreign  capital - from both West and East - continues to invest in South
Africa. How has the  lowering of trade barriers dismantled manufacturing,
increased unemployment, flooded the market with cheap consumer goods, and
thus reduced the costs of labour  power? More generally, what are the
significant patterns of South Africa's  incorporation into Southern Africa,
the continent of Africa as a whole and the globe with  respect to flows of
labour and capital?36

· Privatising the state. In Wolpe's account of cheap
labour power there was always the unposed question: cheap for whom? It may
have been cheap for  capital (low wages) but it became increasingly
expensive for the apartheid state,  which bore the ultimately unbearable
burden of regulating the social and geographical  mobility of African
labour. The apartheid state absorbed the cost of cheap labour.  Today, it
would seem that the post-apartheid state is shedding that cost by
privatising its public services (water, electricity, housing). It is cutting
its subsidies for cheap labour and creating much misery in the process,
especially for the mounting numbers  of unemployed. By way of reaction, it
has set in motion community struggles  across the nation. What are the class
bases of the struggles outside the state but  also within the state over the
social wage?37

· The non-reproduction of labour power? In his original
article Wolpe  assumed that capital has to reproduce labour power, that it
is necessary to maintain  labourers on a day-to-day basis and somehow the
labour force has to be renewed  intergenerationally.

There is ample evidence, however, that capital is not concerned about the
reproduction of labour power. African labourers have suffered  deplorable
and dangerous working conditions in the mines, for example, where they have
suffered high rates of accidents. Furthermore, capitalism was indifferent as
to whether the Bantustans were subsistence plots or burial grounds. Today,
the  relative weak response to AIDS suggests that South African capitalism
can withstand  the decimation of the country's active labouring population.
What, then, are the  interests and the capacity of the South African state
and South African capital to  support the reproduction of its labour force?

2: Extracting surplus

For Wolpe the success of capital accumulation depends on cheapening labour 

He does not consider the alternative strategy of extracting more surplus
from labour whether through working them harder (longer hours, more
intensively), or  through changing the work process through deskilling and
mechanisation. Curiously,  when he studied the labour process it was always
to determine the class position  of certain occupations not as a mechanism
for increasing exploitation. There is, of  course a long century of
struggles over job reservation and color bars that protected  white labour
against cheap African labour. Inasmuch as these have disappeared so  one
might argue that labour costs fall and production can be rationalised. More
generally what has happened to the mechanisms of surplus extraction in
post-apartheid  South Africa?

· The informalisation of work. Studies at the
University of Witwatersrand's Sociology of Work Unit (SWOP) suggest that the
erosion of apartheid laws  that regulated both occupational and geographical
mobility have not always led to  a concomitant erosion of the racial
division of labour. Thus, for example,  color bars may float upwards without
disappearing. Moreover, the deregulation of  apartheid has coincided with
the unfettering of market forces to produce new  strategies of flexible work
organisation. In labour intensive manufacturing industries,  such as
garments and shoes, there is now a widespread use of outsourcing to small
employers and family production. Similarly in agriculture and wine
production there has been intensified casualisation of labour. Wolpe's
articulation of  capitalist and precapitalist modes of production becomes a
chain of subcontracting that stretches from high end manufacturing to small
enterprises to self-employed workers to family production to subsistence
production and unemployment. How does this chain develop and how is the
working population distributed along  it?38

· New despotism at work. We need
to distinguish between the reorganisation of work - informalisation,
casualisation, outsourcing - and the regulation  of production relations.
Flexibility in production, competition in the market,  and new mechanisms of
producing cheap labour power have effectively weakened labour, undercut the
power of unions, and facilitated the emergence of a new  despotism in
production. Karl Von Holdt has identified three scenarios for the regulation
of the post-apartheid workplace: negotiated compromise, a spontaneous
version that  he calls wildcat cooperation and a third which seems most
prevalent,  'authoritarian restoration'. Along the chain of subcontracting
from core to periphery, how  are forms of production regime distributed?
What are the dilemmas of trade  unions in this economic context, but also
the political context, of post-apartheid  South Africa?39

· Racial division of labour. Wolpe argued that the basis of the racial order 
lay in the economic structure. What are the contours of the new racial order 
and  how do they reflect the changing labour supplies, and the 
informalisation of work.  In what ways does liberal democracy 
conserve/restore or challenge/dissolve the  racial division of labour and 
racialised property relations?

3: Race, class and the post-apartheid state

Only once the parameters of the economy have been established can one begin 
to pose questions of state and class.

· What is the role of the state in reproducing cheap labour power and the
extraction surplus value? We need to examine the fractions of the capitalist
class - finance, mining, manufacturing, merchant criss-crossed by national
and international connections - that make up its power bloc. What fraction
is  driving the (dis)accumulation of capital in South Africa today?

· How shall we conceive of the contradictory unity of the post-apartheid 
What are the tensions within the state between its various branches?  What
is the relation between the ruling party and the state? How does the
alliance  of party, COSATU, and SACP organise hegemony over the wider

· How do transformation of economy and state combine to shape
processes of class formation, including the racial formation of new dominant
classes,  strategies of black empowerment, and the African new and old petty
bourgeoisie? How is the working class being recomposed and what is its
relation to the marginalised populations? In short, what is the new class
structure of South Africa today and how does it reproduce a new racial

13 'Capitalism and cheap labour-power in South Africa: from segregation to
apartheid'. Economy and Society 1(4) (1972): 425-56. It should be emphasised
that Wolpe's theorising  of South Africa was very dependent on the work of
historians, such as Colin Bundy and Martin  Leggasick. He was a regular
participant in Shula Marks's London seminar on the history of South Africa.
14 Wolpe takes on the Internal Colonial model or 'colonialism of a special
type', in 'The theory of internal colonialism: the South African case'.
Pp.229-252 in Ivan Oxaal, Toney  Barnett, and David Booth, editors, Beyond
the Sociology of Development (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul,  1975).
15 For the former see Jack and Ray Simons, Class and Color in South Africa,
1850-1950 (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1969), for the latter see John Rex,
Race, Class and  Colonialism (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973).
16 Rob Davies, David Kaplan, Mike Morris, and Dan O'Meara, 'Class Struggles
and the Periodisation of the State in South Africa'. Review of African
Political Economy 3(7) (1976):  4-30. Nicos Poulantzas shifted his analysis
quite considerably, but it was Political Power and Social Classes  (London:
New Left Books, 1973) that influenced Davies et al. while Wolpe would turn
to his later book,  State, Power, Socialism (London, New Left Books, 1978)
for a very different view of the state.
17 See Wolpe, 'Towards an Analysis of the South African State'.
International Journal of the Sociology of Law 8(4) (1980): 399-421; 'The
Analysis of the South African State'. Paper  presented to Conference on
'Southern African Studies: Retrospect and Prospect, 30 May - 1 June, 1983.
18 Race, Class and the Apartheid State (London: James Currey and Paris:
Unesco, 1988).
19 This class analysis can be found in Race, Class and the Apartheid State
but its foundations lie in two superb articles - one on the white working
class and the other on the  African Petit-Bourgeoisie. In the first he cuts
through much confusion by first determining white workers' exact  locations
in relation to the means of production and then, and only then, considering
the effects of  political structures. In the second paper Wolpe again gives
priority to relations of production in  distinguishing between new and old
African petit bourgeoisie in both urban and rural areas where political
structures are so different. He admonished Joe Slovo for prematurely
subsuming the interests of the African  petit bourgeoisie under Africans in
general. Where the SACP gave primacy to the racial divide, Wolpe  still
insists on putting class first. Again Wolpe was not making a definitive
claim about the consciousness  of African petit bourgeoisie but directing
the SACP to a possibility it should examine and take into  account! See 'The
'white working class' in South Africa'. Economy and Society 5(2) (May 1976):
197-240; and  'The Changing Class Structure of South Africa: The African
Petit-Bourgeoisie'. Pp.143-74 in P. Zarembka  (ed.), Research in Political
Economy, 2 (1978).
34 Amelia Mariotti, The Incorporation of African Women into Wage Employment
in South Africa, 1920- 1970 (PhD Dissertation, University of Connecticut,
1980); Xolani Ngonini,  'The Impact of Mining Retrenchments on the Survival
Strategies and Livelihoods of Rural  Homesteads: A Case Study of Two
Villages in Mbizana Municipal District, Eastern Cape'. (MA Thesis,
University of Witwatersrand, 2002).
35 Gillian Hart, Disabling Globalisation: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid
South Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).
36 Hart, op.cit.; Darlene Miller, 'The Regional Workplace in Post-Apartheid
Southern Africa - A case study of Shoprite, a retail multinational'. In
Webster and Von Holdt (eds.),  Flexible Worlds of Work: Ten Years of
Restructuring Post-Apartheid Workplaces (Durban: University of Natal Press,
37 Ashwin Desai, We are the Poors: Community Struggles in Post-Apartheid
South Africa. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002); Patrick Bond,
Unsustainable South Africa (Durban:  University of Natal Press, 2002).
38 Here I am relying on studies conducted at SWOP and elsewhere, gathered
together in Webster and Von Holdt, Flexible Worlds of Work: Ten Years of
Restructuring Post-Apartheid  Workplaces (Durban: University of Natal Press,
Forthcoming). This was based on a conference held at the famed  Lilliesleaf
Farm and sponsored by the Wolpe Trust. 

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