Southern HealthCare, a new joint venture involving two of the Republic of South Africa’s leading corporations and the United HealthCare Corp. (UHC), will provide Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) services to more than 1 million South Africans by 2000.

The joint venture was first initiated during Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell’s trade mission to Johannesburg and Cape Town in April on which he was accompanied by some 30 local businesspeople including officials from United Health Care of Georgia, a subsidiary of St. Paul, Minn.-based UHC and one of the providers of health benefits to City of Atlanta employees.

Mr. Campbell held a ceremony at City Hall on Oct. 10 announcing the new venture which was attended by a number of the participants of the trade mission as well as local and South African officials.

The two South Africa companies involved are Anglo American Corp., a mining giant which owns the DeBeers diamond firm, and Southern Life Corp., the fourth largest insurance company in South Africa.

Anglo American and Southern Life will fund the venture with U.S. $50.4 million of their money and each will have 40% ownership of Southern HealthCare.  UHC will own the remaining 20% and will acquire its interest by reinvesting certain royalties and fees received for providing copyrighted software and technical and administrative expertise.

The venture, which will provide the first health maintenance network of doctors and hospitals available in South Africa will be based in Johannesburg.  The HMO services to be available are still to be determined.

Officials said that membership in Southern HealthCare will come from three sources.  Anglo America will transfer 90% of its covered South African employees and their dependents (approximately 235,000 people) into the new venture.  Southern Life will begin transferring the membership of its present medical services subsidiary (approximately 192,000 people) to the new venture.  And an extensive sales effort will be launched.

Calling the venture “a historic first,” UHC of Georgia CEO A. Kelley Atkinson said that the techniques of managed health care which have been proven to work in the U.S. will now be applied in South Africa, “making health care affordable and accessible to all South Africans.”

Southern HealthCare also will create several hundred new jobs and open a technical college in the township of Soweto to prepare residents there for more technical and supervisory positions.

Mr. Atkinson may be reached by calling (404) 982-8800; fax, (404) 320-8352.