Number 77 Steel Road, New Era, Springs. The address where your favourite breakfast cereal is transformed from maize concentrates to the fibre-laden meal you tuck into at the start of your day. Those involved in this “transformation” are as invisible as the process that produces the cornflakes and bran derivatives we gobble down. History plays a tragic and at times unsettling game. Circuitous returns to past tensions, contests and struggles are a reminder that the old morphs into the new with startling continuities. No story is a stronger reminder of this than that of the Dlamini family. From 1977 Chris Ndodebandla Dlamini worked at 77 Steel Road for Kellogg’s, the famed breakfast cereal maker. Eight years later, due to his reputation for painstaking organising on the East Rand, he was elected as the founding deputy president of a new labour federation, Cosatu. Fast forward nearly three decades later and Steven Mwelase, who joined the same firm in 1979 (two years after Dlamini did an...

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