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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Bernard Huss and the Experiment in African Cooperatives in South Africa, 1926-1948
Author:Rich, Paul B.
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic terms:South Africa
credit cooperatives
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
Development and Technology
Abstract:The interwar years were significant for discussions on agrarian relations and the conditions of the black peasantry in South Africa. They were marked by a philanthropic interest in economic conditions in the African reserves and a variety of proposals were made by missionaries and 'friends of the natives' for their social and economic 'upliftment'. One missionary who tried to stimulate a debate on the economic modernization of the reserves was the Catholic monk Father Bernard Huss (1876-1948) of the Mariannhill mission in Natal. In the late 1920s and 1930s Huss was a keen advocate of establishing cooperative credit in the African reserves as a means of encouraging economic thrift and financial prudence among African peasant farmers. The article traces the rise and fall of Huss's cooperative experiment in the region of South Africa that was then known as the Transkei. It shows that the venture was part of an attempt to maintain a paternalistic influence over rural African communities and resist more radicalizing political influences. It also argues that the cooperatives that were established failed due to the emergence of more radical political influences in African politics and only weak support from the local apparatus of government that was then called the Transkeian Administration. Notes, ref.