In Cry, The Beloved Country, what is the significance about the fact that Johannesburg attributes its growth to the gold mines?growth and gold mines

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kmalone614 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the reasons it is significant in the book Cry, the Beloved Country that Johannesburg's growth is attributed to the gold minds, is because it underlines the basic racial discrimination found throughout the book.

It is the black, native Africans who work in the mines. It is difficult and dangerous work, however they do not yield any of the profit. Their wages are extremely low, as evidenced by the extreme poverty of the blacks living in Johannesburg. The whites, however, do receive the benefits from the gold mines. These mines really are one of the big indicators of the racial disparity in Johannesburg, and all of South Africa during this time.

cnorth eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They're are probably multiple answers to this question, but one obvious one has to do with who works the mines.

The gold mines are worked by the black population. The whites who own the land are getting rich from this. Due to this, other whites are attracted to this area. Meanwhile, although the work is hard and not espesially rewarding, the blacks are drawn to the city as an escape from rural life and a chance at wealth.

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Cry, the Beloved Country

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