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False Piety
A Just Society
The Rule of Law
Possibilities I
Possibilities II






35"x 73"    Triptych     Oil on Canvas   (2002)                                                                                      $2785

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Business and the Economy


“Business should acknowledge explicitly and without reservation that the power structures underpinning white supremacy and racial capitalism for 100 years were of such a nature that whites have been undeservedly enriched and people other than whites undeservedly impoverished.”    

                Sampie Terblanche as quoted in: “A Country Unmasked” Alex Boraine, 2000

“Our weapons, ammunition, uniforms, vehicles, radios and other equipment were all developed and provided by industry.  Our finances and banking were done by bankers who even gave us covert credit cards for covert operations.  Our chaplains prayed for our victory and our universities educated us in war.  Our propaganda was carried out by the media and our political masters were voted back into power time after time with ever-increasing majorities.”
              Major Craig Williamson, Armed Forces Special Hearings, TRC FinalReport, 1998.

Whites benefited from the system and had all the power, privilege, capital and opportunity, while blacks were the victims of discrimination and exploitation, and suffered extreme deprivation and poverty.

The Land Act of 1913 was not repealed until 1991.  It prohibited black South Africans from owning land in most areas of the country. The agricultural sector benefited from the supply of cheap labor
through the Farm Prison System.  Farmers also benefited from the restricted movement of people controlled through the Pass Laws: this was known as influx control.

The Group Areas Act prevented black businesses from opening in white areas thus stifling the development of a viable black business sector class.

The mining industry’s capital shaped South Africa’s exploitive labor policies.  Real African wages on the gold mines were higher in 1915 than they were in 1970. 69,000 miners died in mining accidents between 1900-1993.  More than one million were injured; the overwhelming majority were black.

Job Reservation drove up the costs of white labor because blacks were prohibited from doing most skilled labor. Apartheid policies exerted downward pressure on black wages thus boosting profits for white businesses.

Discriminatory business practices were applied to wages, pensions, medical benefits, vacation policies, job positions, work conditions and amenities, expenditures on worker safety and health, as well as employee training.  Blacks were not entitled to unemployment compensation.

Business only protested those apartheid policies that added to the costs of doing business.  e.g. The Separate Amenities Act;  The Bantu Education Act because it limited the supply of educated black workers; Job Reservation for white workers.

International business firms invoked South Africa’s racial policies whenever it benefited them using the same practices as South African firms with respect to wage discrimination; job discrimination; job security and union recognition.  This continued until the Sullivan Principles were introduced in 1985. These principles required all American owned businesses operating in South Africa with more than 25 employees to treat blacks equally and to actively call for the abolition of apartheid. 

                 Data from TRC Final Report on Special Hearings into the Economy and Business, 1998.


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