The twentieth century opened and closed with a crisis on South Africa’s gold mines.
In between those two points the Rand mines were believed to lead the world in preventing silicosis, the oldest and most intractable of occupational diseases. For most of the twentieth century policy makers in Western Europe, North America and Australasia looked to Johannesburg, and in particular to its state sanctioned system of medical surveillance, as a model of how to make workplaces safe. Since majority rule, a number of major studies have confirmed that rather than being safe, South African mines are hazardous and it is probable that they have always been so. This paper explores how an illusion of safety was created and perpetuated.
Speaker: Jock McCulloch
Wednesday 18 September: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm
City Campus Library, Seminar Room 1 (B10-05-011)