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Excerpt: Spanner in the Works by Pat Fahrenfort

Spanner in the WorksRandom Struik has published an excerpt from Pat Fahrenfort’s autobiography, Spanner in the Works: One Woman’s Journey from Factory Floor to Corridors of Power.

Fahrenhort went from working on a factory floor at age fifteen, to helping to draft the new South African Constitution after apartheid was ended. In this extract she writes about applying for unemployment funds:

The Gleemore Hall, situated off Klipfontein Road in Athlone, was used as a depot for the Department of Manpower, where unemployed people collected their funds. I made arrangements for a neighbour to look after Rene so that I could go and draw my unemployment funds. Thanks to my mother, who was a shop steward in her factory, I knew the rules for the drawn-out process. The first week involved registration, the second and third week was for signing the register. A payment was usually made after the third or fourth week.

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