|Lifetime Achievement Literary Award|
| He is a novelist and poet. He went to live in Johannesburg at the age of ten, left school without finishing, and attended night classes run by the Communist Party of South African while working at a variety of jobs.Following the bus boycott (1942) and the squatters’ movement (1946), he became involved in the trade union movement. He was detained for three months and then banned in the early 1960s; as a ‘listed’ person, he could not publish under his own name.
He published some journalism and a volume of poetry (Dispossessed, 1983), but his reputation as a writer rests on his novel, The Marabi Dance, begun in the 1950s; finished in 1963, and finally published, after passing through various hands, by Heinemann in 1973.
The novel’s examination of the urban black working class is encapsulated within its many sub-narratives, many of which deal with the urban experiences of rural migrants.