The Development of the Beer-Hall System by the Mining Companies on the Northern Rhodesian Copperbelt, 1925-1964
Chisha, Mwansa J
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This study focuses its attention on how the Mining Conglomerates on the Rhodesian Copperbelt promoted and sponsored the African Welfare Programme. Welfare Work in this study is looked upon as a way of trying to keep mining employees contented and not to speak out their grievances. In this sense the Welfare^ provided was considered to be palliative and was supposed to have been a barrier against the participation of African mine labourers in political matters. It was in this way that beer contributed to the popularity of a specific Mining Company and also provided recreation and helped to reduce scurvy amongst the African mine labourers. African mine labourers were frequently attracted to Beer-Halls because insufficient we 1fare faci1ities were available for other leisure time activities. This study puts in perspective the manner in which the Mining Conglomerates in various degrees tried as much as possible to avoid the responsibility of providing proper Welfare to their African employees and tried to extract maximum assistance for these purposes from local councils. In essence, therefore, it is a study in the Capitalist paradigm of cost minimisation and profit maximisation.