In the Heart of the Diamond Empire - Page Two
Living Conditions for De Beers diamond miners in Kimberley.
A street scene in one of the many townships inhabited by Blacks
around the diamond mines of Kimberley - while on the other side of the town
there is quite another standard of housing - and excellent De Beers bowling
and tennis facilities.
A railway coach on display in Kimberley - and
a typical house for a white family in Kimberley
every morning hundreds of women walk from the
townships to work as servants in white households
names after Ernest Oppenheimer. Another suburb
was named after De Beers
children in the townships where live diamond
mineworkers - and, below, the headquarters of De Beers in Kimberley
An apartheid-era diamond mine barracks like
building still very much in use at a local diamond mine below. This is one side
of a fort like building with an inner courtyard and a fortified gate. The miners
here danced and sung me a song mocking their low wages.
Below is the accompanying shower facility for
the miners. It was only cold water - and reached by crossing a stinking drain.
The miners complained to me that many of them
did not even have matresses - this diamnd miner was using sheets of cardboard.
This was at a mine owned by Canadians.
there is not much space for private thought
or for preparing the evening meal.
But many of them put their hope in the leaders
of the ANC.
In some mines the workers have wire cages in
their dormatories in which to keep their personal possessions. This was much
needed - I saw no signs of wardrobes or cupboards or of any other private space.
And some on night shift just had to grab sleep
when and as they could. This was at a mine particularly well-known for producing
large diamonds in deep and dangerous conditions.
Click here to go on to the Koffiefontein
De Beers diamond mine.
Here for De Beers Klienzee diamond
Here to the Finsch De Beers mine
Here back to diamond mineworkers in and
Click her to go back to the home
page for this diamond website
To Contact the Author Janine F. Roberts Tap
c2002 Janine Roberts
All Photographs are by Janine Roberts c2002 All Rights Reserved