Migrant Mine Worker in South Africa: ‘We Have Nothing’

As a migrant mine worker from Swaziland, Mduduzi Thabethe says he has fewer workplace rights than his South African co-workers. Although all mine workers pay the same amount into the health fund, migrant workers get inferior care and pensions are rare.

“If you are a citizen of South Africa, you see you are building your country and you have something, but we have nothing.”

Although media and policymakers focus on African migrants to Europe, some 80 percent of African migrant workers remain on the continent.

Thabethe’s union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, is among those working to improve conditions for migrant workers.

Thabethe tells his story here, part of an ongoing Solidarity Center Workers Equality Forum series that  connects working people and amplifies their voice by helping them share their stories, joys, struggles and strategies to better their lives and livelihoods.