Socio-Economic Structure and Traditional Authorities in Lesotho

In order to characterise the mechanisms of exploitation and to assess the government’s development policy and the social, economic and political base of the government in Lesotho, it is important to know that the Sotho ancestors of todays poverty-stricken migrant labour reserve were the iron workers and craftsman ruling the interior of South Africa until the middle of the nineteenth century, a fact which is censored in South African history books and known only by oral tradition in today’s Lesotho. The Sotho of Lesotho were producing grain both for their own consumption and for export to the rest of southern Africa until the beginning of the twentieth century. During the twentieth century the Sotho society was increasingly exploited, which is reflected, amongst others, in the changing roles of the traditional authorities from precolonial through colonial to neocolonial times. Notes, table.

Title: Socio-Economic Structure and Traditional Authorities in Lesotho
Author: Winai-Strom, Gabrielle
Year: 1976
Periodical: Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Period: May
Pages: 28-33
Language: English
Geographic term: Lesotho
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43658071
Abstract: In order to characterise the mechanisms of exploitation and to assess the government’s development policy and the social, economic and political base of the government in Lesotho, it is important to know that the Sotho ancestors of todays poverty-stricken migrant labour reserve were the iron workers and craftsman ruling the interior of South Africa until the middle of the nineteenth century, a fact which is censored in South African history books and known only by oral tradition in today’s Lesotho. The Sotho of Lesotho were producing grain both for their own consumption and for export to the rest of southern Africa until the beginning of the twentieth century. During the twentieth century the Sotho society was increasingly exploited, which is reflected, amongst others, in the changing roles of the traditional authorities from precolonial through colonial to neocolonial times. Notes, table.