Ending Bank Loans to South Africa
by George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
New York, New York, United States
June 6, 1979
American Committee on Africa
Statement by George Houser before the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid about bank loans to South Africa. Houser mentions Tim Smith of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Beata Klein of the Corporate Data Exchange, the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers. The testimony discusses Continental Illinois Bank, Citibank, and Chemical Bank. Houser reports that First Pennsylvania Bank has adopted a policy against all loans to government or private bodies in South Africa. He urges the United Nations to put pressure on Chemical Bank to end loans to South Africa. Houser discusses the history of organizing against bank loans to South Africa by the American Committee on Africa. The first organized effort was in 1966-1969, when a $40 million revolving loan fund by ten U.S. banks to South Africa was ended. In that campaign and in current efforts by the Campaign to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa, both individuals and organizations are urged to withdraw accounts from banks making any loans to South Africa. The testimony reports that Yale University divested itself of $1.6 million in stock in Morgan Guarantee Trust Co. because of Morgan's South Africa lending policy. Columbia University divested itself of $2.7 million in three banks this spring for similar reasons. Church organizations have initiated actions through stockholder resolutions, withdrawal of accounts from banks in some cases, and educational efforts. The black community, civil right organizations, and some trade unions also have taken strong actions against South Africa bank loans. Recently, residents of Berkeley, California voted to remove city funds from banks loaning to South Africa. Local campaigns in many other communities have included demonstrations, distributing of petitions and leaflets, and withdrawal of accounts.
This item was digitized for Aluka, which made it available to the African Activist Archive.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Africa Action Archive