SOUTH AFRICA AND U.S. MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS by Ann & Neva Seidman
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SOUTH AFRICA AND U.S. MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An exhaustive, appalling indictment of the exploitative socio-economic regime in South Africa, which about 400 leading American corporations help support with technological expertise and capital. The authors also charge the US government and labor movement as accomplices in the maintenance of apartheid, the repressive system that institutionalizes racial segregation for the economic advantage of a white minority. Using data from both public and private sources, they present a thoroughly damning case against all parties. It is no accident, for instance, that four of every five American multinationals working the once-Dark Continent's emergent markets chose South Africa as a base. There, apartheid keeps non-whites' wages at profitable (literally starvation) levels, and as a matter of policy the government puts out a welcome mat. All told, US multinationals--Allis-Chalmers, Caterpillar, Chase Manhattan, General Motors, Goodyear, IBM, Mobil, and Union Carbide, among others--have a $2 billion investment stake, which annually grows at a double-digit rate. The Seidmans' book, however, also provides a balanced history of how South Africa's abundant mineral and agricultural resources, as well as its colonial past, affected its commercial and political development. Further, the text recounts how Pretoria has managed to put many of its black-run neighbors in economic thrall by steadily importing mine labor at slave wages and exporting manufactured goods instead of encouraging internal progress. The authors end on a note of hope, predicting that South Africa's native blacks eventually will win the right to rule in all of their own homeland. They believe the struggle could be shortened by economic cooperation throughout southern Africa, which would thwart further multinational penetration of the area. The Seidmans' timely, important, and explosive document may well help hasten the day.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1977
Publisher: Lawrence Hill