LEGISLATIVE ROUND-UP; ANTI-APARTHEID ACT OF 1985

by Washington Office on Africa
Washington, DC, United States
August 5, 1985
2 pages
Type: Report
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Denmark, Europe, France
Language: English
This report says that, while the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (approved by the House-Senate conference committee, and passed by a vote of 380 to 48 in the House of Representatives) is a significant step towards ending the failed policy of constructive engagement and U.S. disengagement from relations with the apartheid regime, it is not a total victory for the anti-apartheid movement. The U.S. should respond to the increased repression of apartheid with comprehensive economic sanctions or at least cutting off new U.S. investment in South Africa. However, the Washington Office on Africa recognizes that this legislation is an important milestone achievement by anti-apartheid activists. The report describes significant successes during the process leading to this legislation: an immediate ban on Krugerrand gold coin imports; the conference committee strengthened the Senate's relatively weak language on computer exports and nuclear trade; the Senate bill's delay mechanism on considering future sanctions was reduced; the final bill, as reported out of conference committee, did not contain Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) credits to South Africa; the Senate defeated the filibuster attempt by Sen. Jesse Helms; key opposition Republican Senators, who had opposed any sanctions, moved to a position of support for some key sanctions; three immediate sanction were added to the a Senate bill (banning public sector bank loans, restricting computer exports, and limiting nuclear trade) before it was sent to conference; and the passage of a limited sanctions bill in the Senate is in itself a significant achievement. The report points out a number of serious problems that remain with this compromise bill. The report discusses the Sullivan Principles; $34 million in U.S. government scholarships for blacks within South Africa's segregated apartheid educational system; and credits to black businesses through the Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank). It also discusses the decision by France, Denmark and the Scandinavian countries to cut off new investments in South Africa and the decision by 11 European Economic Community countries to recall their ambassadors to discuss joint punitive measures against South Africa in light of the current "state of emergency."
Used by permission of the Washington Office on Africa.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root