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Marikana: The Architects of R12,500

  The now infamous demand for a wage of R12,500, which striking mineworkers were died for in Marikana, was not initially something which was demanded, nor were its creators uncompromising or violent as has been suggested by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.  Rather, the idea of R12,500, in its first instance, was simply a memorandum [...]

Uber & Out in Cape Town

  The BP garage parking lot at Cape Town International Airport has space for more than 60 cars. It is full from before dawn until midnight all weekend, but not with customers. Motorists seldom need to queue for the station’s ten petrol pumps. The Express convenience store, with its bright-lit Wild Bean Café counter, rarely [...]

Industry’s Refusal to Truck with Residents

  Lloyd Gedye & Niren Tolsi On Khangela Bridge, the trucks rumbling to and from Durban’s harbour sound like industrial torture containers. Pistons, cogs, wheels and naked brake pads squeak and screech against each other lending a metallic soundtrack to the air, thick and cloying, with exhaust fumes and the smoke from factory chimney stacks. [...]

Poisoned Earth

  Niren Tolsi & Lloyd Gedye  Turmeric runs through Merebank, a suburb in Durban’s southern industrial basin. In this mainly Hindu community, it is used for cooking and in brides’ cleansing rituals before weddings. Turmeric mixed with water acts as a homeopathic remedy against skin rashes and irritations in homes, and, across the road from [...]

eThekwini: Coughing up for Industry

  Niren Tolsi & Lloyd Gedye Durban’s South Basin exists like a subtropical Dickensian nightmare – race and class oppression sweating it out under mango trees heavy with fruit, and chimney stacks billowing pollution. When the wind changes, so does the rotten egg flavour of sulphur dioxide in the humidity. Families tracing their lives in [...]