Proletarianization as a means of depriving or removing one from his or her means of productions to wage labor. Bryceson (2010) argues that, proletarianization , refers to producer’s complelety separation from land and other property which allows them to independently produce their own material need.The proletarianization is a process which a number of people lack control over the means of production who survive by selling their labor power for a living (Marshall:2002). African peoplehad been expropriated from more than three-quarters of all the land in 1902 (Arrighi:1970)The proletarianization was an instrument used by the colonialists to exploit the black majority to work in industries and farms for low salaries under harsh conditions of work, this resulted in a number of mixed issues, which were issues of benefits and also some which were of no gain.In Southern Africa the colonial governments made efforts to alienate Africans from their productive resources. Acts and regulation were implemented by the whites so that they took off land.The proletarianization process led to construction of infrastructure, such as roads, railway, clinics, schools, introduction of money economy, formalization of work, new commodities on market. Infrastructure built for European colonists and colonial administrators, they continue to serve the African peopleUsing the above negatives and positive impacts of proletarianization, this essay seeks to clarify to what extent Southern African benefited from the proletarianization process.
The proletarianization process led to construction of infrastructure developments in southern Africa. In countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique there was construction of road network such as roads, railway line, bridges, schools, clinics and so on.in Zimbabwe railway construction join cities like Harare to Mutare and also Harare to Bulawayo. In South Africa the Cape railway network was the largest and densest in sub-Saharan Africa which was constracted by British Southern African Company under the influence of Rhodes.The Cape railways were built to connect Kimberley with the international economy and to allow Kimberley’s economy to boost and increase its population. By reducing the cost of transport to the interior, the railway eased the movement of labor, capital goods, foodstuffs and other necessities to the diamond mining centers and transformed the Cape from a traditional agrarian economy to a diamond exporting power and a center of attraction for immigrants.(Bundy:1972). Many poeple lost thier land during the construction of roads and railway line, there were ressetled in remote areas. In Zimbabwe the sitution was like that, the blacks were relocated in remoted areas were they were affected by stestefly, attacked by wild animals and also were they recieve little rainfall and lack grazing lands.further during the constructing men were forced to work long hours and they earned less. This canbe supported by the railway strike of 1945. Railroads gave an initial advantage to the cities they created .Road network allowed for the efficient management of resources produce economic change by reducing trade costs and integrating markets
In addition, schools, colleges and universities were built so that whites will acquire knowledge. At those school there was racial discrimination education was only compulsory for coloureds and white minority and very few black elites. In other words, education under the colonial government was not primarily meant to improve the knowledge of the indigenous population but to recruit and to train white clerks/officials for the administration. Labor was stratified according to race and blacks were at the bottom of the hierarchy. For instance the University of Zimbabwe during the colonial era cater for white and the blacks were excluded. In Mozambique and also in South Africa education was largely available to whites and coloured’s, learned foreign language like Swahili, French, English and Portuguese (O’Laughlin:2010). The spread education to Southern Africa countries eventually Africa had a class of educated leaders who later fought colonialism. It is of importance to note that Zimbabwe is still enjoying these benefits like UZ, other missionary, schools and also railway line and roads are still in use in transporting good and services and also people. Therefore the proletarianization process in Southern Africa countries was a blessing in disguise
Due to forced labor there was the emergency of organized labour.in African during the colonial era workers were paid low wage, associated with poor working however they realise their rights to fight against the white. Ochunu (1997) asserts that Africans works on White farmers sold thier labor and were given meager wage. This can be witnessed by 1945 railway strike and the 1948 general strike were workers protested against low wage and the high cost of commodities on market. These two great strike were the biggest strike in colonial and have a huge impact for instance those railway workers were the first to organise a strong union in Zimbabwe which provide a model or organisation and mobilization of the future interest (Arrighi 1970). ln Mozambique the most notable protest of cotton growers was presented by a nationalist group, the Makonde National Union, under the administrator of Mueda district. They were demanding the end of forced labour, the right to recruit new members to their cotton marketing association, the opening of more shops and the free marketing of goats, chicken and eggs at acceptable prices. There was improved judicial systems and awareness for democracy,African learned about new and organised government.
There was the development of capitalist agriculture. Due to the process of primitive accumulation indigenous people loose land to white settlers. The colonial governments instituted certain systematic measures to control labor and land in Southern Africa.. Africans were resettled into the less fertile lands of the Reserves which were not adaptable for farming and rearing of animals. For Africans living in these areas the only way to earn money to pay taxes was to sell their labour-time because it was unproductive area. Moyo (1996) argues that these white undermined the agricultural potential that African had and killed their only means of subsistence as the traditional economy was based upon production. Land tenure Act 1967, Land Husbandry Act 1959 and Land appropriate act were enacted and those act were tools used to abrogate chance of land ownership and productivity to the natives (Moyo:2006). In Zimbabwe due to Land Tenure Act of 1967 women lost their second land user rights. Women were left with nothing but to rely on limited remittance from their husband.. Black women were restricted from participating in wage labor and were restricted to settle in urban centres (Arrighi 1970) therefore there was feminization of poverty. In this case women suffered the most because the whole domestic burden was laid upon them. Therefore poverty was sort of women’s burden back in the rural areas since they will only waiting for the salaries of their husbands Though blacks loose land there was development in agricultural sector, like the introduction of cash crop economy. The colonies produced cash crops which was used for businesses in their mother country such as cotton, sugar cane, coffee, cacao and tea, however, later own they bring in finished products such as grossaries and clothes. Southrn Africa benefited from colonies because they improved agricultural equipment and the modern farming techniques aid such as breeding, use of tasted seeds. They groundwork of the future agricutural economic for several African nations, and making them vital to the modern global economy. This proletarianization process brought more advanced technological skills which enhanced the increased quantities of production as compared to the previous where traditional means of production were used. Through the use of technology,food levels rose to the levels of surplus. Hence the in Southern Africa countries was a blessing in disguise
The colonial government introduced taxation which was paid in form of kind. A hut tax, dog tax and extra wife tax. When the hut tax was first introduced, payment in kind was accepted but it was soon discouraged in order to induce Africans to pay their tax by wage labour (Arrighi 1970). In Zimbabwe as well as in Mozambique the colonial government experience shortage of labor. Thus people were forced to pay taxes in form of cash only and the only source of income was sell from their produce and livestock (Arrighi 1970). At first the blacks resisted to forced labor by selling thier livestock and produces to pay taxes and rents however, as time goes they generate nothing at the market they failed to compete with the white farmers at the market. As a results the only way left to pay tax was to participation wage labour to pay taxes. In addition to tax, rents and labour services, European landowners exacted various fees grazing fees and dipping fees, which were so exorbitant that within a few years they went, far towards paying the purchase price of the farm (Arrighi 1970). Both men and women were impressed for variable periods of punitive for failing to paying one’s tax. The introduction of the compulsory payments was the main factor making necessary African participation in the money economy.. it is of importance to note that due to taxation there was the introduction of monetary economy were people buy and sell using money instead of barter trade. Today money is the most common medium that allows transaction to take place. Hence the proletarianization process in Southern Africa countries was a blessing in disguise
There was rapid growth of secondary and tertiary industries. There was industrialization in Southern Africa. More industries were opened which demand more wage workers as aresult there was commoditization of labour. Workers were paid low wage, poor working condition such as long working hours, punishment was order of the day. The white owners of the means of the production maximise their profits at the expense of the poor unskilled blacks. Blacks sold their labor to the whites but they were given meagre salaries. In Mozambique cheap labor was available there was hiring and firing of workers in industries, mines and in plantation (O’Laughlin:2010). Southern Africa countries benefited from the colonies besides that they were exploited because in the production sector there was use of machine and other new technical skill which increase the productivity of goods and services. As a results more and more industries were open and the commodities were available on the market. Finished goods from western countries were flooded on the market. African economies expanded greatly due to the increase in the demand of African goods on the international markets. Production increased greatly due to new technology and new methods and also learned new business practices of commercial farming. Hence the proletarianization process in Southern Africa countries was a blessing in disguise because Africa became more industrialized and was brought very closer to the world of global market
New trading centres were established. The European government established new transportation networks, small ports and trading posts in Southern Africa long the coast primarily to stimulate their business activities and also for easy transportation of commodities to their home countries. Ports facilitates the circulation of good and services to people. New urban settlements were then developed from these port markets centres such as Cape Town and Durban in South Africa, Beira in Mozambique, Harare in Zimbabwe hence urbanization. However, Europeans used forced labor to obtain and maintain these ports. Backs were forced to pay taxes and rents. The colonial powers restructured the political and economic systems pre-existing in African societies so that they produced solely for exports that provided only minimal returns to African labour. Therefore, in their effort to increase and maximize profit through extensive exploitation (Arrighi 1970). Hence the proletarianization process in Southern Africa countries was a blessing in disguise
Medical centres were founded with the purpose to lower infant mortality, and prevention and vaccination campaigns against certain diseases were made. More western medical was introducing in missionary hospitals. Colonialism created the need for cures of diseases that were otherwise unknown in Africa. The exposure of African disease to Europeans prompted efforts to cure them which benefited the world. Western medical centres reduced traditional warfare they were made more superior than African medicine. African become to shy on their traditional medicine
Clinic were build.
Due to the proletarianization process there was urbanisation in Southern Africa countries. The blacks were forced by the situation to move from rural to urban areas for employment because they had lose their land to white farmers. However, the colonial government created a new reserved area with the best infrastructural facilities for the Europeans while compelling Africans to live in the least developed areas outside the periphery of the cities, leading to the rise of slums in the history of Southern African urbanization. For instance in Zimbabwe black workers were housed under dormitory conditions and subjected to some forms of discipline in Mbare, Hatfield and so on.There was overpopulation, poor sanitation, crimes increases, outbreak of diseases, traffic conjection and also there was disintegration of married families. Insecurity associated by monetarized economic led to high crime rates and also prostitution in town.To make matter worse workers were restricted from free movement in town. Restriction of personal movement under the pass system was used to enforce labour codes in southern African countries and to prevent employers throughout the region from hiring workers who had fled from another farm, mine or contractor. In Mozambique men, women and children were required an express authorisation from the colonial administration for any change of residence or movement beyond their area of origin. Men of productive age had to pay for and carry a native identity card, as did adult women living in administrative centres or towns(O’Laughlin:2010). The pass system was gendered, restrictions on the movement of women and children were tighter than for men, women required the authorisation of their husbands or male elders of their household as well as that of local authorities to move. Therefore, the proletarianization process in Southern Africa countries was a blessing in disguise
in conclusion, proletarianization is a process of moving from being self employed to wage work. The proletarianization process it was a stepping stone towards modernity in African countries. The proletarianization brought several changes into the lives of Africans The introduction of money formalized work,however they were exploitated, alienated to access to resources like land and left with no option but to parcipate in wage labor were there paid low wages, ill treated and there were hired and fired any time hence human rights were neglected because they were not allowed to go on strikes. Further, during the construction of the infrastructure the black natives lost thier land and services such as education, health were not compulsary for Africa. During the proletarianization process in Southern Africa countries there was gross exploitation of Africans by whites in mines, plantations and also industries labor becames a commodity that can be bought. The capitalist worsen inequalities which was already there
Africans benefitted the transfer of capital, knowledge
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