Home Institution

Rice University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


This paper seeks to convey the wide array of perspectives of South Africans regarding the Marikana strike, one of the bloodiest and most violent of mineworker strikes since the end of apartheid. The author sets out to determine the factors that mold and shape the views of the interviewees as they express their opinions regarding the strike; more specifically, the actions of the strikers and the police who sought to contain them. The methodologies utilized include research regarding the historical context of mineworkers and strikes in South Africa, interviews with a diverse group of individuals residing in Cape Town, and the incorporation of media as another focal point from which to view the Marikana strike’s significance. The individuals interviewed are from a variety of neighborhoods in Cape Town, including Bo Kaap, Langa, Gugulethu, and Observatory, as well as Stellenbosch. Among them, one interviewee is a political science lecturer from the University of Cape Town, and another is a police officer. The findings also include one case-study interview with a woman directly impacted by the strike, as her relative was a participant at Marikana. The common themes discussed in the interviews include their initial reactions to the strike, the reasons behind the strike, legal issues surrounding it, its portrayal in the media, and finally the aftermath and consequences resulting from the strike. The author’s findings indicate that the perspectives of the interviewees involved were influenced greatly by their social, educational and occupational backgrounds.


Community-Based Research | Inequality and Stratification | Work, Economy and Organizations


Article Location