Hope and betrayal on the platinum belt: responsibility, violence and corporate power in South Africa

Rajak, Dinah (2016) Hope and betrayal on the platinum belt: responsibility, violence and corporate power in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies, 42 (5). pp. 929-946. ISSN 0305-7070

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Abstract

This article considers the resurgence in state-backed violence against mineworkers in South Africa, which reached its apogee at the Marikana platinum mines in August 2012, in relation to the rise of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the post-revolutionary political economy. I explore a paradox of CSR, which has emerged more strongly than ever in the wake of Marikana, whereby mining companies have been able to use CSR to dispense with (rather than fulfil) their social obligations and to externalise (rather than address) their social impact. Operating within an old-school logic of paternalism and benevolence, the practice of CSR is at odds with the discourse of empowerment, upward mobility and worker autonomy that modern mining companies claim to foster. Marikana shows us how CSR paradoxically serves as a resource that empowers companies (in response to their critics and claimants) rather than its intended beneficiaries.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 08:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61692

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