Campaign Against Corporate Apartheid (CACA)

CORPORATE South Africa has not yet transformed to the degree where we can safely say apartheid no longer exists, or racist behaviour and other forms of racism in the workplace are no longer significant issues. While empowerment deals have broadened from their original elitist and chauvinist aspirations, they have tended to be cosmetic and misrepresent the interests of those “empowered” but with no effective control over management decisions.

Corporate policies continue to reinforce segregation and racial divisions in our society instead of cutting across the colour lines separating us into various racial and ethnic groups. Equal opportunity for example, is still being subsumed under the mantra of “separate but equal” in the strange, twisted logic of the system bequeathed to us by the apartheid regime. What is more, South Africa’s conglomerates have deployed a global strategy which seeks to escape significant empowerment while ignoring the all-important debate concerning equal opportunity and local affirmative action criteria. Diversity remains an ideal spoken about only in the most progressive of boardrooms.

The Campaign Against Corporate Apartheid (CACA) will seek to address issues such as the foreign listing of local companies who wish to escape broad-based empowerment and the use of multiple holdings to prevent real grassroots reform. It will target cosmetic change, tokenism and misrepresentation of transformation and equal opportunity in shareholder statements. It will also raise debate around issues such as the “Anglo-American system” of corporate governance which fails to recognise the interests of workers, managers, suppliers, customers, and the community at large.

Some economists favour a more coordinated approach such as the current European model which seeks to avoid market fascism and the unavoidable sacrifice of local, community standards in favour of a one-size fits-all global marketplace. A market in which democracy and equality are seen as distant cousins to the overall quest for profit. Global corporations have all to often covered the wool over people’s aspirations, persuaded by investors that money-making and expansion comes before ethical and justicable norms.

The Campaign Against Corporate Apartheid intends exposing both the hypocrisy and short-sightedness of this approach by tackling some of the worst corporate offenders in South Africa. Apartheid has always been bad for business, whether it be practiced by a racist government or the chauvenistic corporations of today.

Campaign Against Corporate Apartheid

PO Box 4398,
Cape Town 8000,
Republic of South Africa

1 comment
  1. For many years the large corpotaes in particular felt that by criticisng the apartheid system, they were good democrats.

    Not so, they enjoyed the benefits of that system and their words were hollow.

    Come 1994, what do we find but a thriving systme of priveldge almost like a caste system excluding access to the wider society. e.g. small managment cadre all white & male.

    Now they are being exposed.

    But have you noticed who has rececived the main economic advantage of an open society: the major SA companies and their top Executives.

    The poor got poorer.

    The vote had to come to all to change the constitution so that the voice of the people could heard. But votes do not buy houses education or bread.

    That voice said we want a better life for all.

    That means we want a share in the economic cake. JObs & skills.

    But does corporate SA hear that voice. They tried even to list on overseas bourses to avoid that call.

    But where does the problem lie?

    It lies fully with the Group Executive team and middle managment. The latter tecnocrats often highly skilled non owners waiting to retire at 50 with holiday cottage & toys do not wish to rock the boat usually low white middle class aspiring to be noveau rich, usually follows and managers but not a drop of leadership skill to be able to see the wood for the trees. They produce the memoranda and recomendation to the executive committee and finally to the board.

    These are the ouens ( age 40 – 50) bred on the mothers milk of apartheid and incapable of thinking other than that whiteness equals priviledge.

    It is said they had TOP education, but if the education they had led them to such narrow selfish views, then what has the many MBA’s and CA and PHD helped them ZILCH.

    Affirmnative Action is better than grabbibg and nationalising.
    But Affirmative action should not be a permananet thing but a transition.
    They manner in which white corpoarte SA is ignoring the window of opportunity is a crime against humanity that should be exposed.
    How have they used the window: By and large by taking on black sycophants who say all the things the whitees like to hear. They call this continuity and stability. My foot. It is perpetuating the past under another guise.

    It is all in the heart, they have read the papers and the studies and they know what is to be done. But their education has dropped them because they do not have the character not the courage to make the leap of faith.
    Carl J Lotter

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