The Workings of the Labour Bureaux

Deborah Posel

in The Making of Apartheid 1948–1961

Published in print December 1991 | ISBN: 9780198273349
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191684036 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in African Affairs

The Workings of the Labour Bureaux

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This chapter discusses the labour bureaux system and assesses how and why it failed to ‘rationalise’ the urban labour market in line with the prescriptions of the Native Affairs Department (NAD) policy. Proper labour planning in the cities and on the farms was the ultimate objective of the labour bureaux, and the way to achieve this goal on the urban market was to ensure that the number of African job-seekers in any city matched the number of vacancies. However, the labour bureaux system brought worsening labour surpluses and shortages, and failed to carry out the NAD's labour canalisation programme effectively. It exercised too little control over the urban market to have been able to impose the Urban Labour Preference Policy (ULPP) effectively and it also imposed too much control to prevent the simultaneous build-up of labour shortages in various categories.

Keywords: labour bureaux system; urban labour market; labour planning; labour surpluses; labour shortages; Urban Labour Preference Policy; ULPP

Chapter.  8067 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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