Business, national and multinational, has an enormous role to play in southern Africa's development and poverty reduction.
However, corporates operating in southern Africa are often responsible for labour, human and environment rights abuses. Some companies regularly exploit governments’ weak infrastructure and capability to hold those companies to account.
ACTSA calls for companies to be transparent, accountable and to exercise their power and wealth in ways which reduce poverty, inequality and discrimination, and promote rights and development.
We also want British companies to support the development of southern Africa by stocking, promoting and selling fairly traded goods. Ask your local supermarket to sell fair trade goods from southern Africa.
Justice for South African Gold Miners
Under apartheid, hundreds of thousands of miners worked underground in appalling conditions, digging for gold. Production levels were high, and profits were prioritised over the safety of its workers. Black miners undertook the dustiest jobs, and protective measures were often not provided. Now thousands of ex gold miners are suffering with silicosis.
ACTSA is campaigning for decent compensation, testing and healthcare for ex gold miners and their families, paid for the companies that made their fortunes from apartheid gold. Find out more about the campaign.
Past work on corporate accountability
Undermining Development: Copper Mining in Zambia
People in Zambia are deriving very few benefits from the country's copper mining industry, while they are suffering many of the disadvantages. ACTSA's work on copper mining in Zambia highlighted the fact that the government is not receiving a fair share of revenue from copper mining contracts entered into under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. It also highlighted the poor wages, terms and conditions endured by employees working for Zambia’s largest copper mining company – Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), and the environmental impact of KCM operations on local communities.
Solidarity with Cape Asbestos victims
British company Cape Plc mined and milled asbestos in South Africa for 90 years, despite the health risks posed to its workers. From 1999 ACTSA stood in solidarity with asbestosis-sufferers in holding Cape to account. After many protest marches, vigils and a great deal of media coverage, justice was finally served in 2003, when a compensation settlement of £7.5 million was delivered to the stricken communities in South Africa where Cape had operated.