CALIFORNIA BANKS LENDING TO SOUTH AFRICA • SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN'S DAY • RESOURCES • The brochure says 1980 was a turbulent year in South Africa; it witnessed successful guerilla actions against strategic government targets, a burgeoning black union movement, increasing SWAPO successes in Namibia, revolutionary change in Zimbabwe, and year-long student boycotts throughout the nation. Government responded by banning outdoor gatherings and meetings of more than 10 people. Blacks made gains on the labor front and the African National Congress (ANC) sabotaged the government's SASOL plant (a coal liquefaction plant to make synthetic fuel for energy-vulnerable South Africa). South African law forbids blacks from living in 87% of the country designated for whites only. Over 3 ½ million have been forced to move to black reservations, called 'homelands', to make room for whites; blacks must have a pass to live and work in these white areas. Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, is an outspoken opponent of apartheid. In March 1980, his passport was revoked in retaliation for urging the Danish government to stop buying South African coal. It was finally returned in January 1981, whereupon he accepted invitations for a five-week speaking tour in Europe and the US. Due to the 1976 Soweto riots, recently successful ANC actions, and continuing student and labor unrest, South Africa initiated a plan for extensive security arrangements with local businesses, including U.S. firms. Phillips Corporation, a Netherlands based multi-national, is now selling musical door chimes to South Africa, in addition to the military hardware it provides the South African police and army. The brochure says SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN'S DAY, August 9, salutes the resistance of women throughout South Africa when the pass law was extended to African women. On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women of all races assembled in Pretoria; processions were banned, so the women walked to the government building in 'threes,' after which they stood in complete silence for 30 minutes and then sang freedom songs. The mailing mentions protesting apartheid education, pass law arrests, the black townships of Nyanga and Langa, squatter camps, bulldozed the land, draconian labor laws, Prime Minister P.W. Botha, poverty, malnutrition, Colin Eglin of the Progressive Federal Party (PFP), General Motors (GM), Rev. Leon Sullivan, codes of conduct for U.S. firms, the Sullivan Principles, Bank of America, Chartered Bank of London, Crocker, French Bank, First Interstate Bank, Security Pacific, Sumitomo, Wells Fargo, and the United Women's Organization of South Africa.
Used by permission of Milton Clarke and Walter Turner, former members of the Africa Resource Center.