Many farm workers in South Africa continue to live and work under adverse conditions that are the legacy of apartheid policies.
Despite its official prohibition, the arrangement by which workers are given alcohol as a benefit of employment, known as the'dop'system, appears to persist.
Even though it is a minority of farms that currently actively practice the dop system, the ramifications of the historical institutionalisation of massive alcohol consumption are widespread.
Heavy alcohol consumption is not only directly injurious to the health of farm workers and their families, but places them at risk to various social and environmental hazards.
This is illustrated in a case of pesticide poisoning in which 24 workers were poisoned when given wine contaminated with the carbamate insecticide aldicarb.
The case illustrates (i) the ongoing application of the dop system on farms in South Africa and (ii) the interaction between social factors and chemical exposures amongst farm workers.
Public perceptions about the natural tendencies of coloured'people to drink heavily have much to do with perpetuating the dop system, and reinforcing a system geared towards the social control of rural farm workers and their families.
The dop system poses a major challenge to the public health authorities in South Africa who are charged with the task of restructuring health services to address the human rights and health needs of marginal farming communities within a primary health care framework.
Mots-clés Pascal : Alcoolisme, Activité professionnelle, Agriculteur, Aspect social, Comportement, Homme, République Sud Africaine, Afrique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Alcoholism, Professional activity, Farmer, Social aspect, Behavior, Human, South Africa(Republic), Africa
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0253987
Code Inist : 002B18C05B. Création : 16/11/1999.