South African Migration – Taxes & Jobs


The European introduction of a wage-economy would have major ramifications upon the native people of South Africa. Taxes were introduced, and as a result, wages became necessary to pay them. This coincided with a massive demand for labor at the diamond mines.

The only Western skill that many Africans had to offer in the initial days of taxation was their labor. Single men were chosen by the Chief to work in the mines for a period of time, where they were expected to return, bringing with them currency and weapons. When they came back, it was assumed that they would then marry and take on a role in their society. For a period of time, the Chief was able to maintain some semblance of power Women remained behind, to tend to the fields and family. Eventually, entrepreneurial men (and women) circumvented the role of the Chief as recruiter, and left for the mines/company towns/and barracks on their own accord. The route to Griqualand brought many people through the Afrikaner states. Many settled along the way, never returning home.

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