The refusal by several of South Africa's top companies to contribute to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's compensation fund for victims of apartheid has elicited strong reaction from the TRC.
Abstracts from article:
TRC compensation and rehabilitation committee chairman Hlengiwe Mkhize threatened to call on the government to institute legislation forcing companies that profited from apartheid to contribute to the fund.
Some of the companies that rejected the commission's request, since their budgets provided for community involvement spending already, include the Rembrandt Group, Anglo American, Tongaat Hulett, Woolworths, Barlow and the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services.
Other companies, such as Cyril Ramaphosa's Johnnic indicated they never received a written request.
Mkhize said she was filled with "revulsion" over companies's refusal to contribute to the fund since most of them had benefited from apartheid laws. The commission intends holding consultation work sessions with all companies approached for contributions to once again emphasise the importance of the issue.
Cape Town Anglican Church Archbishop, the Reverend Njongonkulu Ndungane in reaction said compensation for apartheid victims was in the first place the responsibility of the government. It was unreasonable to approach the business sector constantly for all kinds of financial assistance, "since companies have to show profits to keep their shareholders happy."
He added: "It is totally inexcusable for the government not to honour its commitment to compensating victims, while implementing the other end of its agreement - giving amnesty to apartheid offenders," Ndungane said.
The R3 billion needed for the compensation fund, he pointed out, was "small change" in comparison to the R43 billion in taxpayers's money the government intended spending on its highly controversial armament contract. The government has only contributed about R300 million to the fund, while international donors have given R400 million.
- Source: Full article "TRC slams companies" appeared on the news24.com website