Apartheid Policies Replaced Traditional African Business Practices With European Commercial Activity

1359 Words Dec 9th, 2016 6 Pages
Apartheid policies replaced traditional African business practices with European commercial activity. In precolonial Africa, the economy relied on subsistence-oriented trade and the exchange of surplus goods for commodities not locally producible. Bartering, in which goods are exchanged for items of similar value, was the bedrock of local markets. The economy under apartheid shifted to a price-based market, and The Conservationist examines the effects of this sudden change. Those in the general store near Mehring’s farm browsed the merchandise and attempted to haggle with the store owner over the price of sugar, tea, and matches. Customers offered cigarettes and home-brewed beer for goods and others who did not understand the price system, tried to argue about money. In chaos and confusion, “They might grumble… --I want for ten cents.-- --No ten cents, only fifteen.-- Demand. Response. Counterdemand. Statement. No word was given away” (Gordimer 113). When Rain Clouds Gather analyzes modernized livestock purchasing. In Golema Mmidi, the richest men of the village lowballed poor cattle farmers when purchasing animals. Under the new system proposed by Gilbert, “each beast is weighed on a scale and the owner is paid the same live weight as would be given by the abattoir” (Head 26). Gilbert’s livestock policy, by creating equal opportunity for all economic participants, contrasts the racialized economic segregation of South Africa and shows the benefits of a balanced economy. By…

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