Life After the Americans Leave

As they withdraw from direct ownership of South African businesses, corporate giants like General Motors and IBM are striving to extricate themselves from a moral and economic slough of despond. Yet their actions have been raising questions in both South Africa and industrial nations around the world about just what the pullouts can hope to achieve. Some critics charge that the companies are merely retreating to the ethical high ground while continuing to operate in South Africa through licensing and sales arrangements.

Little on the surface will change when the two companies leave. General Motors cars that are assembled at South...

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