and the Economy
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,
“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,
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The Land Act of 1913 was not repealed until 1991.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
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