The invisible hands: women in Marikana
[Review of African Political Economy, Volume 42, 2015 - Issue 146]
Abstract: When we think of Marikana we think of the infamous event that took place on 16 August 2012, leading to the death of 34 striking miners. Scholarly analysis takes this further than the event to broader labour–capital relations. While useful, the examination of Marikana through this lens tends to privilege the production sphere and lends itself mainly to the exploration of the workplace; the workers, their employers and the union. In this article, the author argues that exclusive reliance on this lens is inadequate and inevitably results in many silences, one of which is the silencing of the reproduction sphere and, by extension, women. To fully understand Marikana the event, one has to understand Marikana the location, and hence realities and conditions on the ground. Such an analysis of Marikana is not only useful because it sheds light on the reproduction space, but also because it allows us to look at women who are usually ignored when talking about mines.