Contemporary Crises

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 261–287 | Cite as

Southern African contradictions: Part I, the role of U.S. based multinational corporations (MNCs)

  • Ann Seidman
  • Neva Seidman


This is the first of two articles which seek to explain how the distorted growth of South Africa has enabled it to dominate and underdevelop the entire southern African region while itself becoming increasingly dependent externally on Western multinational corporations. A simple model provides the theoretical framework for this analysis. A brief historial sketch of the handful of powerful mining finance houses, led by the Anglo American Group involving U.S. and British interests, have joined the racist South African Government to build state capitalism and coerce the black Africn majority to work for less than subsistence wages. In this context, the largest U.S. multinational corporations, many of them linked through their boards of directors and financial ties to each other and high U.S. officials, play an increasingly critical role in providing sorely-needed capital and advanced technology to strengthen South Africa's industrial complex. At the same time, U.S. interests are attempting to influence the South African black trade union movement to acquiesce to the basic structure of the resulting exploitative political economy.

The second article will outline the way South African and multinational corporate interests have penetrated the political economies of neighboring countries to obtain low-cost labor, raw materials, and markets for their expanding output of manufactured goods.


Political Economy Trade Union Multinational Corporation American Group Industrial Complex 
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Copyright information

© Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Seidman
    • 1
  • Neva Seidman
    • 2
  1. 1.Clark UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard UniversityBostonUSA

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