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Dust, Disease and Labour at Havelock Asbestos Mine, Swaziland

Jock McCulloch
Journal of Southern African Studies
Vol. 31, No. 2 (Jun., 2005), pp. 251-266
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064993
Page Count: 16
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Dust, Disease and Labour at Havelock Asbestos Mine, Swaziland
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Abstract

The Havelock/Bulembu asbestos mine in Swaziland, which operated from 1939 until 2001, was a major employer and earner of foreign exchange. For most of its life the mine was owned and managed by the British conglomerate Turner & Newall. The miners of Havelock have recently failed in their efforts to bring a legal action in Britain against that company. Asbestos is a hazardous material and the attitude of management, the absence of trade unions or an effective regulatory authority meant that work conditions at Havelock were harsh. Using internal company correspondence and archival sources it is possible to identify the moment, four years after the mine opened, when Turner & Newall decided the health of its Swazi workforce was expendable.

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