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Abusive Politically-Sanctioned Racial Segregation Routine In South Africa

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The key idea of moral issues with respect to business and South Africa emerged from the development of remote direct interest in the nation during the 1970s. The immediate venture gives remote firms a value stake in a country as contradicted to an exchanging association with it. Direct speculation is typically connected with different attributes that likewise build up broad business associations in the host nation, including quantities of direct representatives, charge installments to the administration, closer provider and client connections, nearby network contribution, and a few times specific kinds of the residential political movement.

Direct interest in South Africa by U.S. firms dramatically multiplied from under $500 million soon after the Sharpeville slaughter to $1.8 billion at the season of Steve Biko’s passing. Albeit more than 300 U.S. organizations in the long run entered South Africa, Great Britain remained the biggest financial specialist country and just around twelve firms represented three-fourths of the U.S. direct venture. All things considered,

U.S. MNCs spoke to enormous fragments of significant business areas, especially autos, oil-based commodities, and PCs. The primary moral reactions of these organizations can be condensed in two charges: they were benefitting from the misuse of the dark populace and we’re adding to the support of an abusive politically-sanctioned racial segregation routine.

Cultural traits

South Africa is a culturally diverse nation. The population consists of four main groups: Black African (79%), White (Afrikaners and white English) (9%), Colored (9%), and Indian/Asian (3%). Each ethnic group exhibits differing and varied religious, cultural and linguistic traits. Identity is firmly rooted in ethnicity, and while historic rivalries between groups do exist, great maturity has been demonstrated since the move to majority rule in 1994. The traditional African concept of ‘Ubuntu’ is widely respected amongst South African people, particularly the black population. Ubuntu is an ethic or humanist philosophy that emphasizes people’s allegiances and relations with each other, I am because you are; you are because we are. Qualities associated with Ubuntu are mutual respect and support, interdependence, unity, collective work and responsibility.

Political history and government

In 1961, South Africa turned into a self-administering republic, having recently been a British territory. The minority white populace had ruled legislative issues and it was in 1949 that the National Party Government set out on the methodology of politically-sanctioned racial segregation, falsely isolating the races and, significantly, giving settle for the easiest option of training to the larger part dark populace. Politically-sanctioned racial segregation finished when the nation moved gently to dominant part administer in 1994. Since 1994, the nation’s legislature has been driven by the African National Congress (ANC), in partnership with the Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The ANC is seeking after basically free-showcase approaches however has a noteworthy social plan impacted by its two coalition accomplices, every one of whom has an all the more left-wing frame of mind. There is a material inheritance of under-interest in both foundation and individuals to survive. The nation history of racial mistreatment and a provincial and politically-sanctioned racial segregation framework has separated individuals based on race and phonetic gathering. Thus, South Africa is thinking about accomplishing social union and joining the country around a presence of mind of direction.

Broad-based black economic empowerment

BBBEE targets the social and economic development of black people through seven key areas:

  1. Ownership
  2. Management control
  3. Employment equity
  4. Skills development
  5. Preferential procurement
  6. Enterprise development
  7. Socio-economic development.

The B-BBEE Act 2003 which followed the report outlines the duty of the state and public bodies to take an entity’s B-BBEE status into account when entering into decisions affecting:

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  • Procurement
  • Licensing and concessions
  • Public-private partnerships
  • The sale of state-owned entities.

History the Polaroid Controversy

The first major corporate response to the ethical challenge posed by South Africa involved the Polaroid Corporation. Two black employees organized a demonstration in October 1970 alleging in a leaflet that “Polaroid Imprisons Black People in 60 Seconds.” The charge was related to the reported use of Polaroid cameras for photographs used in the South African passbooks. Demonstrators demanded that the company state its opposition to apartheid, withdraw from the country, and turn over profits to black liberation or revolutionary groups. Polaroid, known at the time for its progressive race relations and community support programs in the United States, was caught by surprise. Their response is particularly interesting because Polaroid sales in South Africa occurred through an independent distributor; the firm had no plants, subsidiaries, investment, or direct employees in that country.

The case focused on product use Polaroid equipment in a passbook identification system that helped regulate the apartheid structure. No U.S. regulations at the time prohibited the export, sale or end-use of this equipment. Does the seemingly tangential link of sales through an independent distributor establish an ethical business responsibility for Polaroid for the political conditions in South Africa? If an ethical responsibility exists, what is its nature and is withdrawal an appropriate response?

South Africa is a growing nation with a long way to go. Though many policies have been enacted for socio-economic prosperity, there are still many issues that serve as a hurdle for economic growth.

Corruption is on a high level in this country, since there is one party domination, there is growing social and economic inequality. Racial differences remain a crucial factor in this country. There are lesser accountability and stability due to corruption. This is disturbing the economic development of the nation.

The Sullivan principles

The Sullivan standards are the names of two corporate sets of accepted rules, created by the African American Evangelist Rev. Leon Sullivan, advancing corporate social obligation.

The first Sullivan standards were created in 1977 to apply monetary weight on South Africa in the challenge of its arrangement of politically-sanctioned racial segregation. The standards inevitably increased wide reception among the United States–based companies. The new worldwide Sullivan standards were mutually disclosed in 1999 by Rev. Sullivan and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The new and extended corporate set of principles, rather than the firsts’ particular spotlight on South African politically-sanctioned racial segregation, was intended to build the dynamic support of companies in the headway of human rights and social equity at the universal dimension.

The Sullivan standards, presented in 1977 with one expansion in 1984, comprised of seven prerequisites a partnership was to request its workers as a condition for working together. All in all, the standards requested the equivalent treatment of representatives paying little respect to their race both inside and outside of the work environment, requests which straightforwardly tangled with the official South African strategies of racial isolation and inconsistent rights. The principles read: The Sullivan principles

  1. Non-segregation of the races in all eating, comfort, and work facilities.
  2. Equal and fair employment practices for all employees.
  3. Equal pay for all employees doing equal or comparable work for the same period of time.
  4. Initiation of and development of training programs that will prepare, in substantial numbers, blacks and other nonwhites for supervisory, administrative, clerical, and technical job.
  5. Increasing the number of blacks and other nonwhites in management and supervisory positions.
  6. Improving the quality of life for blacks and other nonwhites outside the work environment in such areas as housing, transportation, school, recreation, and health facilities.
  7. Working to eliminate laws and customs that impede social, economic, and political justice. (added in 1984)

U.S. Government Actions

Official U.S. international strategy restricts South Africa’s politically-sanctioned racial segregation framework. Early proposition for monetary authorizations fizzled, however, the United States forced an arms ban in 1963 and bolstered the U.N. Security Council’s ban in 1977. Residential strategy choices focused fundamentally on how extensively to apply the fare controls. Under the Carter organization, all fares to South Africa’s military and police were prohibited. Under Reagan, these controls were loose to allow shipments of double use and non-military things. A few gatherings encouraged a total prohibition on all fares and advances to South African government offices.

The U.S. Place of Representatives passed a bill in 1983 containing extended exchange authorizes on South Africa, yet the measure did not pass the Senate. A later proposition (The Anti–Apartheid Act of 1985), which incorporated a prohibition on the new interest in South Africa, passed the two places of Congress yet was vetoed by President Reagan. In any case, reacting to developing weight for a harder U.S. position against politically-sanctioned racial segregation, the organization at that point issued Executive Orders that actualized a portion of the administrative proposition, including fixed fare confinements on PCs and atomic innovation; import bans on Kruggerands and South African weapons; limitations on new credits with the exception of similarly accessible instruction, lodging or wellbeing offices; and help for dark organizations and understudy grants. The Executive Orders likewise denied exchange help for any U.S. firms working together in South Africa that did not pursue a Statement of Principles that resembled the underlying six Sullivan Principles. These activities neglected to assuage Congress, be that as it may, in light of the fact that they didn’t boycott new interest in South Africa and on the grounds that the Executive Order needed permanency, requiring yearly recharging by the president.


  1. Beauchamp, Tom L. Case Studies in Business, Society, and Ethics. 2nd ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989.
  2. DeGeorge, Richard T. Business Ethics. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986.
  3. Kibbe, Jennifer, and David Hauck. Leaving South Africa: The Impact of US Corporate Disinvestment. Washington, D.C.: Investor Responsibility Research Center Inc., 1988.
  4. Wolpe, Howard. “South Africa: The Time Has Run Out
  5. Minter, William. “South Africa: Straight Talk on Sanctions.”
  6. Foreign Policy. 65, (Winter 1986–87)

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Abusive Politically-Sanctioned Racial Segregation Routine In South Africa. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from
“Abusive Politically-Sanctioned Racial Segregation Routine In South Africa.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
Abusive Politically-Sanctioned Racial Segregation Routine In South Africa. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Nov. 2022].
Abusive Politically-Sanctioned Racial Segregation Routine In South Africa [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2022 Nov 27]. Available from:
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