U.S. Churches Denounce Shell Oil's South Africa Ties

by South Africa Issue Group, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
New York, New York, United States
September 1988
Publisher: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
9 pages
Type: Report
Coverage in Africa: Namibia, South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Contents: Church of the Brethren General Board (October 1988) • General Board of the American Baptist Churches, USA (June 1988) • Episcopal Church in the US--Executive Council (May 1988) • General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the USA (July 88) • National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (May 1988) • Sisters of Mercy of Brooklyn (March 1988) • Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregation (June 86) • General Board of Church and Society, The United Methodist Church (February 1988) • General Conference Resolution of the United Methodist Church (May 1988) • United Church of Christ (October 1987) • CHURCHES DIVEST SHELL STOCK • General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (June 1988) • PART II- - WHAT SOUTH AFRICANS SAY ABOUT ROYAL DUTCH SHELL • South African Church Leaders • Union Leaders • The report says a growing number of church institutions have condemned Royal/Dutch Shell’s investment in South Africa and called for the company’s withdrawal from the land of apartheid; churches also resolved to support the boycott of Shell projects. The report says on May 20, 1985, church leaders launched a "Partners in Apartheid" campaign, focusing church-sponsored antiapartheid programs on U.S. corporations which are key investors in apartheid. These companies provide strategic products, technology and financing to South Africa. One year later, the churches added Royal Dutch/Shell to the list because Shell, as one of South Africa's largest foreign investors, plays a central role in South Africa's petroleum, mining and chemical's industries. The report says the 55 Protestant and Roman Catholic institutional investors called on the companies (1) to cease immediately all sales and service relationships with the South African government and government-owned corporations; (2) to make clear to the South African government that the end of apartheid was a precondition for their remaining in South Africa. The report says on January 14, 1986, the Free South Africa Movement and the United Mine Workers Union, answering a call from the National Union of Mine Workers of South Africa, launched a Shell boycott; the boycott's goal is heighten public awareness of the role Royal Dutch/Shell and other international corporations play in supporting apartheid and to utilize economic pressure strategies to influence powerful companies to leave South Africa. The report says as part of a series of papers profiling the target companies of ICCR's "Partners In Apartheid" campaign, ICCR presents excerpts from the Shell boycott resolutions and statements of several denominations; ecumenical agencies and religious communities; this paper will facilitate interpretation of the concerns and issues raised by the U.S. religious community about Shell's support to apartheid; the full resolution texts are available from the sponsoring denomination; part two of this paper presents statements from prominent South Africans who have called for international economic pressure to end apartheid. The report includes quotes by Frank Chikane. General Secretary. South African Council of Churches (SACC); Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Alan Boesak, President World Alliance of Reformed Churches; Beyers Naude, former General Secretary, South African Council of Churches; James Motlatsi, President. National Union of Mine Workers of South Africa; and Sidney Mafumadi, Assistant General Secretary, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The report discusses multinational corporations, disinvestment, labor problems at the Shell-owned Reitspruit coal mine, liberation, the South African Police (SAP), a government that kills innocent women and children in the black townships, human dignity, teargas, the U.S, religious community, full sanctions, Congress, Mobil Oil, foreign capital, foreign trade, corporate withdrawal, the United Church of Christ (UCC), Shell Oil USA, the World Council of Churches, primary and secondary boycotts, NCCCUSA, J.F. Bookout, Peter Holmes, Shell Transport & Trading, the New York City pension funds, the illegal occupation of Namibia, and the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board.

Used by permission of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers