It has been said that the Republic of South Africa is controlled by two men heading two organisations; Mr.
SV Vorster speaking
SV ZOOM IN Oppenheimer speaking from platform
SV INT workshop, gold bars being cast (2 shots)
SV Gold bar along conveyor (2 shots)
SV Portrait of Oppenheimer's father ZOOM BACK to Oppenheimer speaking
SV Oppenheimer arriving at home by car
GV EXT Oppenheimer's mansion and lily pond
SV Men working on new building
SV Oppenheimer speaking at Progressive Party meeting
CV Oppenheimer interview: Oppenheimer speaks
GV EXT and INT factory
Oppenheimer: "I don't know about that. I'm delighted to be thought shy and modest. I perhaps have the advantages my father gave me, which he didn't have. I think this makes a difference in your approach to life."
Interviewer: "Do you think it's a fair assessment to say that you haven't got his streak of ruthlessness for getting to the top?"
Oppenheimer: "I didn't think my father was a very ruthless character, but I think I'm reasonably determined."
Oppenheimer: "You know in South Africa we're a strange country because we're always complaining that people outside misunderstand us. But we are very difficult to understand."
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 9: Oppenheimer: "Well I don't know that I've put so much money into the Progressive Party, but I support the Progressive Party because its views are nearer my views than any other political party. I mean I wouldn't like to defend in detail everything the Progressive Party says, but I certainly am a member of the Party and I believe it's on the right track in South Africa."
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 10: Interviewer: "But does it ever worry you that so much of your empire is being ploughed back to bolster up the government you oppose?"
Oppenheimer: "No it doesn't worry me at all, because I think to begin with that if you are running big business in this country and in other African countries, you have got to put that aside and simply say it is a good thing for the population as a whole to raise the standard of living, and this flows from what we are doing. That is the first thing. And that is the line we take in all countries, and that is a common interest of all countries, to raise the standard of living, and if you stick to that people are happy to have you, on the whole. On top of that, in the particular context of South Africa, putting my own political hat on, I believe that the rapid economic development of South Africa is about the only chance I see of the sort of change that I hope for taking place peacefully."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: It has been said that the Republic of South Africa is controlled by two men heading two organisations; Mr. John Vorster and his Nationalist Government head the political side, and Mr. Harry Oppenheimer and his giant Anglo-American company control the Finance in the country.
Anglo-American announced earlier this month that ti is to pump some 2.3 million sterling into a big farming scheme to help Zambia produce maize and beef. This financial deal could save landlocked Zambia up to 18 million sterling in foreign exchange over the next decade. This latest financial move from Anglo-American is a comparatively small one -- Oppenheimer and his companies control more than three thousand million pounds sterling, and has more influence on his country's economy than, comparatively speaking, General Motors has on the U.S. economy.
This profile, from VISNEWS library film, illustrates the type of man Oppenheimer is. It includes his wealth, his philosophy, his politics and his influence. It leads to the point that Oppenheimer is probably the most powerful man in South Africa today.
SYNOPSIS: John Vorster is South Africa's most powerful politician controlling the ruling Nationalist Party; but Harry Oppenheimer is one of the world's most powerful financiers, controlling assets worth over a thousand million pounds sterling.
Three out of every ten gold bars poured in the Western world come from an Oppenheimer mine. His own personal fortune - if it could be converted into gold bars and laid end to end - would stretch for nearly six miles. Some say Oppenheimer is a shy, modest man.
Oppenheimer was born in South Africa and took an Oxford degree in politics and economics. He served as an intelligence officer in the Second World War and then spent ten years as an opposition member of parliament for Kimberly. On the death of his father in 1957 he gave up politics and devoted himself to the family business.
He gives a large amount of his fortune to charity and finances the Progressive Party, using its platform to air his views.