Banks owe South Africa, says Jubilee 2000

Published April 1, 1999

(ENI)-Churches and other organisations have called on Swiss, German, British and American banks who gave “odious” loans to the apartheid regime to pay compensation to post-apartheid South Africa.

The call was made as Jubilee 2000 in South Africa, a broad-based campaign pressing for foreign debtors to cancel the country’s international debts, released a report on the role played by Swiss and German banks in funding apartheid.

Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and a patron of South Africa’s Jubilee 2000, told journalists at the release of the report in South Africa on 2 March that Swiss and German banks should make reparation because they were “accomplices in a crime against humanity”.

George Dore, publicity secretary for Jubilee 2000 in South Africa, told ENI that the campaign was backed by South African churches, religious groups, trade unions, civic organisations, youth and women’s organisations, university student structures and individuals.

“Those financial institutions which have been cashing in debt repayments for loans used to perpetuate the apartheid era should make reparation,” Dore said. This could be achieved through a large capital plan for education and job creation, he suggested.

The post-apartheid government of President Nelson Mandela is unable to meet its targets in providing health, welfare, education and other services for national reconstruction because of the international financial obligations it inherited from the former regime.


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