Save the date: Black, White & Gold book launch

Image: Sumit Mathur on Pexels.

A collection of works by the late Professor Francis Wilson, Black, White & Gold, will be launched at a lunchtime event in the University of Cape Town School of Economics building on July 3rd, 2023.

The collection spans about 60 years of Wilson’s work from his seminal research on migrant labour in South Africa’s goldmines to an article written as the COVID-19 pandemic struck, on the need for a Sovereign Wealth Fund. In terms of content, it spans over 200 years in history.

Wilson, the founder of SALDRU and its former director, was the first economist to painstakingly calculate – by going through more than 50 years of Chamber of Mines annual reports – that not only had black mineworkers’ wages not increased in real terms from 1911 to 1966, but they had in fact dropped. Moreover, as people squeezed from the land were forced to sell their livestock, the prices that they could command dropped notably.

As much as mining made white (and urban) South Africa rich, it impoverished most black South Africans, he writes.

The book is published by KMM Review Publishing, headed by Ipuseng Kotsokoane. Moeletsi Mbeki chairs its board.

On the evening of July 3rd, Nobel-prize winning economist from Princeton University, Angus Deaton, will deliver the first Francis Wilson memorial lecture. Copies of the book will be on sale at both events.