Striking Gold

White and black South Africans united last week — on the picket lines. Gold miners in the world's biggest bullion producer went on a four-day strike demanding higher wages and better living conditions. The stoppage, the first industry-wide action for almost two decades, ended after employers agreed to a 6-7% pay increase.

But low pay is not the only issue. Many mineworkers still live in single-sex hostels, symbols of exploitation under the old apartheid regime. The gold-mining companies point out that they have improved accommodation considerably; still, "the problem is to rebuild an entire housing system for tens...

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