The City Council has unanimously adopted an anti-apartheid divestiture plan that will cut the city's economic ties with banks doing business in South Africa unless they subscribe to a set of principles that promote an end to racial separation in that country.
The policy adopted Tuesday is weaker than one proposed in November. The initial plan called for withdrawal of city deposits and investments in all banks that do business in South Africa. To avoid possible legal problems, the council agreed that deposits could remain in such banks as long as they adhere to the so-called Sullivan Principles.
Those principles, developed in 1977 by a Philadelphia minister, call for American firms to promote social reform in South Africa by requiring equal employment and improved living conditions for people of all races.
The city has investments in excess of $475 million with more than a dozen banks and brokers, but has yet to determine which firms do business in South Africa.
A second provision of the anti-apartheid policy says the city "shall refrain, whenever it is legally possible, from purchasing any goods and services" from the South African government as long as apartheid exists.