State Treasurer Joseph P. Suggs last week rescinded the state's South African investment policy, which he instituted last October. The change means that Connecticut can invest a portion of its pension fund dollars with companies that do business in South Africa.
Suggs said in a release that the free elections recently held in the African country signal that the policy of apartheid had ended.
"Now that democratic elections have been completed in South Africa, there should be total support of the new government through investment and trade," Suggs said. "A continued smooth transition and the future success of South Africa as a unified nation is deeply tied to its financial growth."
Last month, African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela was elected South Africa's first black president. Although blacks far outnumber whites in South Africa, the policies of apartheid prevented blacks from voting.
In 1980, the Connecticut legislature was the first in the nation to restrict investment in South Africa.
"This office will continue its corporate responsibility policy," Suggs said. "I expect all companies in which Connecticut funds are in invested to lend support to South Africa's economic and political viability.
The state still maintains restrictions on 50 companies that have not adopted the MacBride Principles, a set of guidelines for companies doing business in Northern Ireland.