This article focuses on HIV/AIDS management at Anglo American, the world's third-biggest mining company, the largest private-sector employer in South Africa and across the continent, and the first company to provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) “free of charge” to its workforce in a context of little or no access to state health care. Through the lens of HIV management, the article considers what happens when human care and welfare is refracted through the prism of corporate managerialism, shareholder value, and, more immediately, the relationship between workers and capital. It suggests that, as welfare is conflated with the maintenance of human capital, care becomes a conduit for corporate control and containment giving new force to old paternalistic regimes in the postapartheid workplace. Here the discourse of shareholder value and (human) capital efficiency is fused with moralities of social responsibility in this new dispensation of corporate compassion. The result is the emergence of a vanguard of ART recipients, employees who depend on their corporate employers not only for their livelihood but for their very survival and thus are divided from society outside the workplace and from their own dependents. Their liminality comes to embody the disjuncture between corporate responsibility and state welfare.
Research Article|January 01 2016
Dinah Rajak; Expectations of Paternalism: Welfare, Corporate Responsibility, and HIV at South Africa's Mines. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2016; 115 (1): 33–59. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-3424742
Download citation file: