“In the tumultuous late 1970s, Afrikaner industrialist Anton Rupert built decent homes for his black workers in Cape Town and Johannesburg.   The World newspaper, later banned by the apartheid government, applauded the Rembrandt boss for planting hope amid political despair.  ‘What Dr Rupert has done in effect is to awaken the country’s social consciousness,’ The World said in its editorial on August 24 1976.   ‘He is saying to his fellow [white] industrialists that nothing is gained by accusing the government of making a mess of things.  One must do something about it.  Race relations must improve’.   . . .  ‘We are all Africans whatever our colour or creed or persuasion, and our future depends on our mutual loyalty and support,’ he said.  ‘If we want investment from elsewhere we have to push each other up the economic ladder.  If we pull down those ahead of us, we shall all fall together’.”

Read Mpumelelo Mkhabela’s report How Anton Rupert awakened SA’s social consciousness first published by the Rand Daily Mail yesterday.