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Navigating African Maritime History$
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Carina E Ray and Jeremy Rich

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497315

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497315.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Sailing Beyond Apartheid: The Social and Political Impact of Seafaring on Coloured South African Sailors

Sailing Beyond Apartheid: The Social and Political Impact of Seafaring on Coloured South African Sailors

Chapter:
(p.189) Sailing Beyond Apartheid: The Social and Political Impact of Seafaring on Coloured South African Sailors1
Source:
Navigating African Maritime History
Author(s):

Henry Trotter

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780986497315.003.0009

This final chapter explores the opportunities available for Cape Town seafarers during the Apartheid era of 1948 to 1994. The purpose is to seek a better understanding of how modern seafaring can shape political consciousness, via an examination of the radical traditions on the Atlantic during the age of sail. It introduces the living conditions of Apartheid era South Africa, then explores the reasons for the lack of revolutionary attitudes from South African sailors at sea. These reasons include the marginally better rights for sailors at sea than on land; the improvement of shipboard conditions due to containerisation; the threat of cheap labour from Asia supplanting jobs; and the general feeling of escape from the cruelties of Apartheid whilst living at sea. Overall, it concludes that sailors did not use their skills to challenge Apartheid, but instead did what they could to make the lives of themselves and their families easier under the regime.

Keywords:   Apartheid Maritime Labour, South African Marine Corporation, Shipboard Hierarchies, Containerisation, Racial Segregation, Modern Seafaring

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