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Traditional authorities and politics of labour recruitment in Zimbabwe's platinum mining industry

When: Friday, 20 September 2019 - Friday, 20 September 2019
Where: Braamfontein Campus East
Hofmeyr House, next to Jubilee Hall
Start time:8:00

The Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) will host Dr Joseph Mujere research associate at SWOP to present this breakfast seminar.

Using the case of Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Holdings Limited (Zimplats)'s platinum mining operations in Mhondoro-Ngezi district in Zimbabwe, the talk will analyse the centrality of the politics of belonging in the platinum mining industry's local labour recruitment regimes. The talk will examine how traditional leaders use autochthonous claims to land to negotiate access to jobs for jobseekers under their jurisdiction and will explore the flaws and contradictions within the local labour recruitment regimes set up by mining companies to appease local communities. The relationship between mining capital and traditional leaders resulted in the emergence of a local labour recruitment regime in which traditional leaders played a significant role. Traditional leaders' demands for jobs from mining companies whose activities led to their displacement can be viewed as a form of ‘insurgent citizenship' which led to greater access to mining jobs by local communities. As demonstrated in this research, local communities' access to mining jobs should not be viewed as a result of the corporate paternalism of mining companies, but coordinated efforts by traditional leaders and local communities who lost their land to mining operations. The talk will also highlight the fraught nature of a local labour recruitment regime that is centred on traditional leaders. Apart from instances of corruption in how traditional leaders manage the local labour recruitment system, the talk will also highlight the contentious nature of the psychomotor tests used by the mining company in recruiting labour. 

*Note: this breakfast seminar is based on a paper co-authored by the presenter with Darryl Chanakira and Sam Spiegel.


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