Dynamics of the Socio-economic Discourse of the San People at Platfontein, South Africa

  • Mehari Yimulaw Gebregeorgis


This study reviews the dynamics of the socio-economic discourse of the San people at Platfontein, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. In order to examine the development of the socio-economic discourse since they settled in South Africa, the analysis was mainly based on the comprehensive status assessment of the people made when they lived at Schmidtsdrift and the data collected from nine focus group discussions (FGDs) and eight interviews on the community’s current conditions. Inductive thematic analysis (ITA) was employed to reveal the progress of the discourse on the socio-economic conditions of the people. The findings show that the people are still in the trauma-poverty-trauma vicious cycle. While the root cause of their social confusion is their background of dispossession, relocation, mass destruction and war, it is fuelled by the unemployment and poverty which they are currently experiencing. The uncertainty discourse on the fate of the community in relation to the political power shift from the apartheid government, of which the San community was an ally, to the African National Congress is now replaced by the people’s socio-economic dependency and complaint discourse.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804