South African Prime Minister Johannes Vorster had talks on thursday (18 August) with the leaders of South Africa's coloured and Indian communities on proposals to alter the country's system of government.
South African Prime Minister Johannes Vorster had talks on thursday (18 August) with the leaders of South Africa's coloured and Indian communities on proposals to alter the country's system of government. The proposed changes would give the two groups a greater say in the governing of South Africa.
SYNOPSIS: The proposals contain a plan giving South Africa's two million coloureds, who are of mixed race, and 600,000 people of Indian origin, representation in the national Parliament. The Americans have been increasing pressure on South Africa to liberalise its separatist policies.
A full team of Cabinet ministers attended the 'informal and preliminary' talks. A cabinet committee was appointed last September to look into the possibility of changing the existing political system.
After the leader of the Cape Town Coloured Representative Council, Mr. Sonny Leon, refused to meet Mr. Vorster with the Indian delegation present, they agreed to separate meetings. During the talks, Mr. Vorster also put forward a plan to give greater powers to existing Indian and coloured councils and to set up a central multi-racial body on which whites, coloureds, and Indians would be represented. Each community would......govern its own affairs but would share joint responsibility for common issues. No details were given on how these proposed bodies would co-operate. Getting agreement on these reforms will be tough. The coloureds say any new deal should include urban blacks.
Indian leaders on their council have also made it clear that blacks should be included. Mr. J.N. Reddy, of the Indian Council Executive, said he'd discussed with mr. Vorster many aspects of constitutional development. Leaders of both groups said they would study the government's proposals further. A caucus of Mr. Vorster's ruling National Party is meeting in Capetown to consider the implications of power sharing with the Indian and coloured communities. Feeling within the National party to any new deal is mixed. Some members have said the plan will fail unless urban blacks take part. The conservative wing of the party opposes power sharing of any kind.