English, Indian English, Malay, Dutch, Portuguese, French, Show more Special sense of general English compound ‘the enclosure within which a residence or factory (of Europeans) stands, in India, China, and the East generally’ (OED). The ultimate etymology is disputed: originally Indian English, probably adaptation of Malay kampong, kampung enclosure, village (Dutch orthography kampoeng). Earlier theories were that the word was an adaptation of Portuguese campanha or French campagne country, or of Portuguese campo field, camp.
1.A (fenced or walled area enclosing) single-sex living quarters in which migrant labourers, usually miners, live for the duration of their contracts.Cf. hostel sense 1 b. Also attributive.
1886G.A. FariniThrough Kalahari Desert 28He..goes to seek for some Kaffir friends of his at the mines, and finds his way into a compound. Arrested for being there without permission,..he..eventually gravitates to the prison.
1892The Jrnl 15 Sept. 2A large new compound, built by the Nigel G.M. Company,..is a good solid structure built of stone and is capable of housing over 800 kafirs.
1895A.B. Balfour1200 Miles in Waggon 67The Kaffirs who work in the mines are kept in compounds during the whole time they engage to work in the mines, never being allowed to go outside, for fear of diamond stealing.
1903Ilanga 10 Apr. 3I went over to the kafir store in the compound of the City and Suburban Mine, Johannesburg.
1910J. RuncieIdylls by Two Oceans 38He went to the Falls, saw the Chinese compounds, saw how they washed diamonds.
1918H. MooreLand of Good Hope 18The native workers, at this and all South African mines, live in ‘compounds’: huge enclosures surrounded by high walls.
1926M. NathanS. Afr. from Within 298Inspection of a mine ‘compound’ enables one to compare the life of the natives under a system of control with that led by them in the freedom of their kraals.
1936Williams & MayI Am Black 120The compound was a large square around which were the sleeping houses of the black miners, arranged in long, low dormitories in which twenty or thirty men had their sleeping bunks.
1949J.S. FranklinThis Union 184The work on our farms and in our gold mines and in our industries would come to a complete standstill without the Native. And so he is to come in for a period or periods unaccompanied by his women-folk and his family, and he is to be herded in compounds.
1952Drum Mar. 7We were led into a compound surrounded by a high stone wall, given a blanket each and told to sleep in one of the low, dirty, mud-walled, long rooms by a black foreman.
1977J. SikakaneWindow on Soweto 12Compound shops were also provided for African miners to buy food and clothing thus further restricting their movement to the mining premises only.
1980M. Lipton inOptimaVol.29No.2, 99Housing men in barracks or compounds, under close surveillance, for the duration of their contracts, originated in the 1880s on the diamond mines at Kimberley.
1989L. Vogelman inWeekly Mail 20 Jan. 18Compound living deprived them of their privacy, adequate food, comfortable sleeping conditions, appropriate living space, and heterosocial and heterosexual relationships.
1991Sunday Times 10 Nov. 28We tend to prefer the pleasure of word games to the pain of acknowledging what a century of neglect has done to our urban African population, the same conniving mentality that transforms locations into ‘townships’, compounds into ‘hostels’, and shebeens into ‘taverns’.
1908D. BlackburnLeaven 205Sidney Dane, Compound Manager of the New Yankee Gold Mining Company, Limited was..a Natalian.
1911T.L. Carter inBest of S. Afr. Short Stories (1991) 64Bacon Sothern, the compound manager,..passed as an expert in the Chinese language, and..had been engaged to superintend the yellow men at this mine.
1946Tribal Natives & Trade Unionism (Tvl Chamber of Mines) 6All matters affecting Native employees as mine residents are under the administration of the compound manager of each mine.
1968L.G. GreenFull Many Glorious Morning 26Two hundred mine natives were in danger of starvation. The resourceful compound manager sent them out into the veld to collect locusts.
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 147The compounds were tightly controlled. Each fell under the authority of a white compound manager who maintained discipline and kept pressure on workers to carry out their shifts.
1887J.W. MatthewsIncwadi Yami 218The enormous cost of the searching and detective departments will to my mind be done away with if the ‘compound system’ inaugurated by the Central Co. in the Kimberley mine can be carried out by other companies.
1891R. SmithGreat Gold Lands 77This searching system appears to have been ineffectual. For what is called the ‘Compound System’ was adopted in preference to the other by the great mining companies.
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 128Compound system, The requirements of the labourers confined in the compounds are met within the compound, provisions being made for the supply of all necessaries, even to hospital and church accommodation.
1936Cambridge Hist. of Brit. EmpireVIII. 778Great temptations were offered to the natives by illicit diamond buyers to steal and sell part of the stones found, the losses being estimated at from £500,000 to £1,000,00 each year before the introduction of the compound system by De Beers in the ’eighties.
1948A. PatonCry, Beloved Country 80The compound system..brings men to the towns without their wives and children, and breaks up the tribe and the house and the man.
1952Drum Mar. 4It is impossible to prevent abuses of the employment of contract labour with the accompanying compound system.
1986Frontline June 20Out of the needs of the mines sprang the mine compound system, rigidly controlled migrant labour, and all the rest of it.
1897H. RaymondB.I. Barnato 83I would like to say a word about..the compounding of natives. The compound system..has been a very good thing for the moral and social well-being of Kimberley.
1989Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 175The ‘solution’ they hit upon was to house Africans in barracks, or closed compounds...Many shopkeepers objected, saying that this deprived them of legitimate custom. Rhodes..pressed on, placating the Chamber of Commerce with assurances that the mining companies would buy all that they required for the compounded Africans from the Griqualand West dealers only.
Unfortunately you are using a browser that is either outdated or not supported.
To view the content of dsae.co.za with full functionality, please use the latest version of one of the browsers hyperlinked below.