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June 28 , 2007

Book 1: Streets Paved with Gold


Johannesburg, the city of gold! The streets, so it was thought, were literally paved with gold. Millions of migrants flooded into the cities every year looking for work. However, the laws of the day (the Pass Laws, now abolished) restricted migrants from living and working in the cities causing untold hardships for many. This short story is set in the days when people had to carry a pass giving them permission to live and work in the cities, failure to do so resulting in arrest. We follow a day in the life of an Ndebele migrant worker trying to survive the rigors of a three hour bus ride into Johannesburg every day to his place of work. The Ndebele are an off-shoot of the Zulus, refugees from King Shaka during the 19th century. Portions of the Ndebele tribe to-day live in the eastern and northern parts of the Transvaal and as far afield as Zimbabwe.

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