HC Deb 09 July 1906 vol 160 c506
MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will state the number of Kaffirs employed in the mines in the Transvaal on April 30th, 1906; the number of Kaffirs employed in the said mines before the war broke out; the number of Kaffirs, other than those employed in the mines, employed in the Transvaal, whether by the Public Works. Department, the military authorities, in domestic service, in trade, or otherwise, at the present time; the number similarly employed before the war.


93,739 was the number of Kaffirs employed in the Transvaal Gold Mines on April 30th. There is some uncertainty as to the numbers prior to the war the report of the Transvaal Labour Commission quotes the Government Mining Engineer's statement that 107,827 were employed on gold mines in July, 1899; of these 91,484 were at work. Subsequently the Mining Department published the figures 107,482 as representing the coloured labour for the Witwatersrand Gold Mines with a statement that the figures for other districts were not known. The number of Kaffirs in other employment than Gold Mining in Labour Districts on April 30th appears to have been between 85,000 and 90,000. I am not in a position to give the numbers before the war, but the numbers in other employment were much fewer then than now.

MR. PAUL (Northampton)

Has there been any change in the rate of wages since the war?


There was a distinct and serious reduction of the rate of wages paid to the Kaffirs in the Witwatersrand area after the war, but I am informed that the rate of wages has now been raised to the pre-war level.