All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Business Administration (MBA)


College of Business & Professional Studies

Degree Program



Business Administration


apartheid, sanctions, international, economy, politics, government, foreign capital


Apartheid is the doctrine by which the South African government regulates the relations between its black and white citizens. This doctrine oppresses the nonwhite groups while protecting the wealth and the well being of the white group through legislation.

In townships throughout South Africa, there is a war being waged against apartheid.. Economic sanctions are one very important means in the world campaign to eliminate apartheid.

This thesis will focus specifically on the economic sanctions by different governments and foreign divestiture by different corporations and more emphasis will be given to U.S. corporations. In this thesis, I propose to measure the effectiveness of this foreign divestiture. The scale will be the extent to which foreign divestiture worsens or alleviates the present condition of black workers in South Africa.

It has been argued by several authors that foreign divestiture may not necessarily cause economic harm and that even if it does, this may not be followed by the diminishing of the apartheid system. The advocates of this argument believe that foreign business has limited influence on the South African government.

On the other hand, some authors argue that economic sanctions are morally justifiable. They also believe that if comprehensive international sanctions against South Africa are taken, the measures will seriously raise the cost of apartheid, and the combination of a deteriorating economy and increased international isolation should force the white community to begin serious negotiations towards majority rule. These various arguments are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they do suggest that the question of the effectiveness of economic sanctions has led to much speculation.

To reach a decisive point on this issue, I will first consider the various forms of foreign divestiture, its past and present effects. Secondly, I will consider the likely effects of other so far unimplemented forms of economic sanctions. This will be contrasted with the effects of continued foreign investment on the black workers. This approach, I believe, will support the thesis that while foreign divestiture does not in itself improve the actual politico-economic condition of black workers, continued investment in South Africa worsens that condition.

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