Markets on the Margins

Markets on the Margins

Mineworkers, Job Creation and Enterprise Development

Kate Philip


James Currey



Examines more than a decade of enterprise development strategies in marginal economic contexts in South Africa's mining communities and shows how this might impact on development strategies.

In 1987, workers in South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) staged a historic national strike, and 40,000 mineworkers lost their jobs. To assist them, the NUM set up a job creation programme, starting with worker co-operatives before shifting to wider enterprise development strategies. Against the backdrop of South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy, this programme provided support in communities hard hit by escalating job losses on the mines - including in neighbouring countries. In this book, Kate Philip, who ran NUM's job creation programme for over a decade, charts the often-difficult lessons learned from grappling with the limits and opportunities that such market participation offer to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods. She explores whether and how it might be possible to make markets work better for the poor - and what the notion that markets are social constructs might mean for constructing them differently.

Kate Philip is a Senior Economic Development Advisor in the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) of South Africa's National Treasury. Through the International Labour Organisation, she has also been supporting the government of Greece in the design and development of a public employment programme.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787442467), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


April 2018
15 black and white, 7 line illustrations
238 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781847011763
Format: Hardback
James Currey
BISAC POL053000, HIS047000, BUS068000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Setting the scene
The 1987 Mineworkers Strike
Conflict in the Transkei
Power struggles in Lesotho
Co-ops capture the imagination
The NUM co-op programme
Challenges of democratic ownership and control
Rethinking degeneration in co-op theory
MDA's Development Centre strategy
Small enterprise: In the shadow of the core economy
A new enterprise development paradigm
Market development - or a new "anti-politics machine"?
Breaking into higher value markets in the craft sector
Marula: Product innovation and value chains
Implications for enterprise development strategy
If markets are social constructs, how might we construct them differently?