Afrikaans Business under Apartheid: The Case of the Western Cape

Robert J. Wood, R. Haines, H.R. Lloyd


Many commentators have taken a wide-brush view of the effects of apartheid, but the overarching policy’s impact on business differed not only on sectoral and ethnic lines, but also from area to area, conspicuously between the Western Cape and the rest of the country (O’Meara, 1982: 167). Despite common assumptions of political marginalization, the Western Cape region was not only the epicentre of Afrikaner capital in the Western Cape, but also politically powerful industries such as the wine industry. However, over time, the large Western Cape Afrikaans-owned conglomerates slowly outgrew the apartheid government, finding increasing common ground with their Anglophone counterparts. In time, this led to tensions with government, despite close ongoing formal and informal contact and communication. This article explores changes in the relationship between Afrikaans business and government in the Western Cape, and how the former moved from being central to outgrowing the apartheid order.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p1361

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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