Coal Miners Strike on the Rand

Sunday, 1 January 1922

On this day Transvaal coal miners embarked on a strike because of a wage cut of 5 percent per shift. On 10 January 1922 White mine workers on the Rand gold mines followed their example, because they rejected a proposal that a regulation concerning the ratio of Whites to Blacks should be adjusted in favour of Blacks. If applied, it would also have resulted in wage cuts.

The strike of the 20 000 White miners meant that the 180 000 Black workers had no work either. The strike escalated into a large-scale revolt against the government, which became known as the Rand Rebellion. By March 1922 Johannesburg had been turned into a war zone. Resistance only stopped on 14 March after heavy bombardment of the headquarters of the miners in Fordsburg

References:
• joburg, Miners’ Strike remembered, from City of Johannesburg, [online], Available at www.joburg.org.za [Accessed: 04 December 2013]
• Davenport, J. (2013),  The lead-up to the 1922 Rand Revolt, from Mining Weekly, [online], Available at www.miningweekly.com [Accessed: 18 December 2014]

Last updated : 17-Jan-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 05-Jan-2015