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Asanda Benya wins Ruth First Prize

SWOP members and associates have been recognised and honoured in many ways over the past six months. First up, it's a great pleasure to announce that Asanda Benya has been awarded the Ruth First Prize for the best article published by an African author in the Review of African Political Economy in 2015, for her article in Issue 146 on “The invisible hands: Women in Marikana”.

Asanda, soon to be Dr Benya, was a SWOP PhD fellow until mid-2015, when she took up a post as lecturer at UCT.

According to the prize committee: “This article provides an extremely rich and original analysis of the Marikana strikes and their aftermath by focusing on the role and experiences of women, mainly the partners of the miners. This analysis is very well supported by theoretical literature making a strong case for a broader gendered analysis of political economy which includes the realm of social reproduction as integral to understanding the social and political dynamics of capitalist society…. The paper integrates rich concrete detail with theoretical insight admirably…”


Her superb and very moving thesis on women workers underground, which Asanda pursued with great courage, training as a winch operator and working underground herself, has received the highest accolades from examiners, and her book will be vivid and compelling, the best ethnography yet on work underground.

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