Education Resource

Meet the Journalist: Jack Shenker

The critical fault-lines dividing South Africa have been quietly deepening for years, but they exploded to the surface in August 2012 when police massacred 34 striking workers at Marikana and mining briefly captured the world’s attention. But journalist Jack Shenker explains that Marikana was no isolated event. Throughout history, South Africa’s mines have been the incubators of every major shift in the country’s political and social development: The modern state was founded on its mineral wealth beneath the soil, the apartheid system grew out of pass law regulations designed to maximize profits for mine owners, and the resistance struggle that eventually overthrew apartheid was born and stoked in the furnaces of gold, diamond and platinum concessions dotted throughout the land.