Developmentalism, Dependency, and the State
232 pages

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Why does Namibia's economy look the way it does today? Was the reliance on raw materials for exports and on the service sector for employment an inevitability? And for what reasons has the manufacturing sector - the vehicle for economic development for many now-high income countries throughout the 19th and 20th centuries - seen its growth held back? With these questions in mind, this book offers an extensive analysis of industrial development and economic change in Namibia since 1900, exploring their causes, trajectory, vicissitudes, context, and politics. Its focus is particularly on the motivations behind the economic decisions of the state, arguing that power relations - both internationally and domestically - have held firm a status quo that has resisted efforts towards profound economic change. This work is the first in-depth economic study covering both the colonial and independence eras of Namibia's history and provides the first history of the country's manufacturing sector.



Publié par
Date de parution 17 août 2020
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9783906927206
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 12 Mo

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Voices from the Kavango
Voices from the Kavango A Study of the Contract Labour System in Namibia, 1925–1972
Basel Namibia Studies Series 22
Basler Afrika Bibliographien 2020
©2020 The authors ©2020 Basler Afrika Bibliographien
Basler Afrika Bibliographien Namibia Resource Centre & Southern Africa Library Klosterberg 23 PO Box 4001 Basel Switzerland
All rights reserved.
Cover image: Contract labourers from Kavango on their way back to Kavango (Grootfontein), 1954. Photographer: Ruth Dammann
ISBN 978-3-906927-19-0
ISSN 2234-9561
Forewordby Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie
Introduction Historiographical review on the contract labour system Archival sources Oral interviews
1 3 13 14
1 Tracing the History of the Contract Labour System in the Kavango, 1885–1950s24 Introduction 24 Early intrusions by traders and hunters 24 The German colonial regime in Kavango 29 The South African presence in the Kavango 40 Labour recruitment by South African oĹcials 44 The formation of the Northern Labour Organization (NLO) and its operations,  1925–1943 54 The formation of South West Africa Native Labour Association (SWANLA) and its  operations 59 Conclusion 61
2 “They Used to Buy Us”: Labour Migration from Kavango Introduction Reasons for contract labour migration Migration journeys, 1925–1972 Women in labour narratives Conclusion
3 Living and Work Experiences Introduction The contract labourers on farms The South African mines and compounds Namibian mines and compounds Conclusion
62 62 63 72 92 96
98 98 98 119 126 137
Returning Home: Economic, Social Impact and Worker Mobilization Introduction Mathias Ndumba Shikombero’s life story Economic and social impact Mobilizing politically Conclusion
General Conclusions and Lessons
Photographs of interviewees taken by Kletus Muhena Likuwa
138 138 138 144 157 168
It was an aĹnity of interest in forced removals, homelands policies, contract labour and oral histories that brought Kletus Likuwa and myself together in the years of his postgradu-ate studies in the History Department at the University of the Western Cape. This bond is revealed in a photograph that I have of the two of us that is displayed in my oĹce till today. These fruitful years produced a new black historian of the Kavango, an area which Likuwa observes has been much neglected by scholars given the diĹcult conditions for research there. Scholarship on contract labour, in particular, neglected to suĹciently consider the movement from this area and oĹcial sources too obscured the numbers from the Kavango subsuming them under Ovamboland ⁞gures. While I have never been to the Kavango, Likuwa, as a member of the Vagciriku commu-nity, is a master story teller with a feel for the area. As he traversed through the villages of the Kavango in search of the ‘vakacontraka’, the contract workers, to interview, the reader gains a feel for the geographical terrain and the villages of Kangweru, Guma, Korokoko, Diheke, Mabushe, Bagani, to name just a few of many that stretch from the western to the eastern parts of the Kavango, to ⁞nd a place in history. The research is impressive drawing on signi⁞cant archival sources, in particular, the local ⁞les dealing with Rundu but the book shines in its use of oral histories. There is a sensitivity as to how to conduct oral interviews, a talent for the languages of the area such as Rukwangali, Rumanyo and Thimbukushu, and a maturity in analysing the narratives themselves well beyond mining these for infor-mation. Likuwa is sensitive to processes of transcription and translation and, to allow the interviewees to be heard, extracts from the original interviews are included along with the translations. He has created a new archival collection through his generous donation of these interviews to the National Archives of Namibia. Likuwa infuses the category of contract labourer with life in the narrative he constructs. The men have names, biographies and feelings. They express the hopes they had, their disappointments, their coping strategies and their journeys. We learn from Ndumba Shiren-gumuke of Hoha village, for instance, ‘It was in Grootfontein where we got bought’. We learn about the ‘don’t breathe machines’, the x-ray machines at the screening processes, the renaming by the employers and the retaliation as workers privately gave names to their employers, and interactions with the `missus’ on the farms. From the mines to the farms, Likuwa, takes us through these one on one contacts. This is not a local history but a trans-national history taking one across the borders into Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa. We are left with the powerful words of Mathias Ndumba Shikombero who was interviewed at
age 76 in Rucara village after working for twenty-two years as a contract labour ‘what did we really bring from that contract work? Nothing! There were some simple, ugly blankets with pictures of lions on them’. Likuwa’s major oral histories of work may prove his great-grandmother Susana Mate Kamwanga, wrong in her reprimand to him `you the children of nowadays who only want to record to go and write in books. What will you get out of it? You will get nothing out of it?’ The scholarship of Namibia is enriched with this new work on the Kavango and the people of this most northern region have secured their rightful place in the country’s history.
Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie Senior Professor, History Department, University of the Western Cape 30 March 2020.
Great thanks to the Carl Schlettwein Foundation of Basel, Switzerland, for the continuous ⁞nancial support to this academic project and the publication process. Thanks to Profes-sor Patricia Hayes and Professor Leslie Witz for their unwavering academic support. I am extremely grateful to Professor Uma-Dhupelia-Mesthrie, my academic supervisor at UWC. I remain with a lasting impression of her extreme meticulousness to pinpoint the short-comings in my academic work and suggest constructive improvements. All the remaining shortcomings or mistakes in this work, therefore, are my sole responsibility. Thanks to my good and loyal friend Dr. Michael Uusiku Akuupa, for your strong advice and the continuing support you provided towards this project. Thanks to Michael Murundu Justinus Shirungu, Maggy Nepaya and Paulinus Haingura for being good and supportive friends during this academic project. I similarly thank my good friend Shampapi Shiremo (my grandson in line with family tradition), for his constant support and for being a compa-triot in our academic struggles and for being centrally vocal about the Kavango in Namibian public history. Let the struggle continue! To my senior brother Karl Lwanga Muduva Likuwa, you believed in my passion for learning and always hoped that one day I would become a highly learned person. You took me away from my village school of Ndiyona to do high school and eventually undergraduate studies in Windhoek, Namibia. You also continued to support me both morally and ⁞nan-cially. To you I say, ‘Mbatero naviruwana vyoye vyaha⁞ta vadimu vetu, kancu kurukenka rwa Kanyondo!’ (Your support and work has pleased our ancestors, I promise at the verge of the deep Kanyondo stream). To my ⁞ancée Elvira Makena Ndara, thanks for all the unlimited love, support and pa-tience you continue to show tome; it gives me the strength to move on to the end. To my children, Muduva, Kayimbi and Kandjimi, it has been a pleasure seeing and thinking of you growing up all of which has added meaning to the need to complete this academic project. To my mother, Appolonia Karama Maliti, who raised me and is now in old age but still displays strength by working in her ⁞eld and wishes we could always live and work the ⁞eld together, I remain greatly indebted. My late father Felix Shindimba Likuwa who inspired me through his Rumanyo language writings to become a writer like him. I thank him for having been a good role model and may his soul rest in peace. Great thanks to all the former Kavango contract labourers for sharing their life experi-ences which have helped to bring this academic project to fruition, to them I say, ‘kunaviru-
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