Cutting Ties to a Troubled Land

The corporate pullout has brought little change to South Africa

As the pressure builds on U.S. companies to leave South Africa, the caravan of departing corporations grows steadily longer. More than 100 U.S. firms have quit the land of apartheid during the past 2 1/2 years, and last week three big names -- Citicorp, Ford and ITT -- joined the crowd at the exits. The magnitude of the American pullout has raised some crucial and highly controversial questions: What happens to the businesses that U.S. companies abandon? Are South Africa's blacks better or worse off? Has divestiture had any impact on the country's economic and political climate?

On the surface, not...