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Apartehid, Mandala, and Business

Author: Salil Tripathi, Institute for Human Rights and Business, Published on: 9 December 2013

Apartheid, or the policy of racial segregation that the ruling National Party practiced in South Africa from 1948 to 1991…privileged one group over others, controlling levers of political and economic power…[Nelson Mandela] saw that almost everyone who controlled the regime, or was part of the elite, including business, had been a beneficiary of apartheid…South Africa's prosperity was built on its mineral wealth…Business played a huge role in maintaining the status quo. Business wanted workers on the cheap to go deep inside the mines…Mandela challenged that…Smart businesses understood that the system was inefficient …Mandela had a simple demand - treat everyone as equal…While nobody’s conduct was perfect, the South African example offers lessons to other companies operating in difficult contexts, where human rights abuses are rampant but business wants to invest: some day, those unjust systems will collapse…

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Related companies: Anglo American