• Short Summary

    More than 16 years after the Sharpville massacre, when police shot down dozens of black Africans protesting against the racial policies of the South African Government, the first stage of a new experiment to ease racial tension is underway in South Africa.

  • Description

    More than 16 years after the Sharpville massacre, when police shot down dozens of black Africans protesting against the racial policies of the South African Government, the first stage of a new experiment to ease racial tension is underway in South Africa.

    The plan is to resettle the various ethnic groups into a series of separate autonomous states or homelands within South Africa itself. The first of these homelands, the Transkei, gains a degree of independence as a sovereign state in October.

    The homelands are the cornerstone of South Africa's policy of separate development and the coming independence of the Transkei is being watched closely by South Africa and by the many critics of Apartheid.

    The South African Government argues that it is leading black South Africans to self determination and independence. For black South Africans that road starts in the Transkei capital of Umtata and the central showcase for the government's Apartheid policy -- or separate racial development
    The Transkei is one of 10 homelands where the South African Government hopes to re-settle most of the country's black in their own independent countries. In October, Umtata becomes the capital of a new country. about the size of Switzerland. And, according to the South African Government, it will be able to pursue its own policies -- entirely free of any influence.

    As a measure of its determination to make the Transkei succeed, the South African government is providing the homeland with huge amounts of cash and material aid for major public works, including new administrative offices, an international airport and military base.

    However, critics of Apartheid view the Chief Minister of the Transkei, Chief Kaiser Matanzima, with suspicion. According to Reuters, some opponents of Apartheid regard him as a stooge and puppet of the South African Government. This is not a view he accepts and in an interview for Visnews, Chief Matanzima said that the Transkei constitution would tell the world what the Transkei's position was when it becomes independent on 26 October.

    Meanwhile, a new controversy involving Transkei citizenship has strained relations between the South African Government and Chief Matanzima. With independence, the government plans to turn all blacks of Xhosas tribal descent into citizens of the Transkei, though they will not be forced to live there.

    Many of them live in townships around South African cities, working for the country's key industries and commercial enterprises. Many of them have never been inside the Transkei and, according to Reuters, the Government's policy mans in effect, that the estimated 1.7 million Xhosas, living in "white" areas of South Africa, will be regarded as foreigners. There are nine other homelands earmarked for independence and it is expected the citizenship policy would also apply to them.

    They too have the majority of their populations working in the area designated for whites, which comprise just under 87 per cent of South Africa's land mass. Reporting on the policy, Reuters said that this could leave over 8,000,000 blacks living in white areas as foreigners, deprived of South African citizenship and liable to deportation if they caused trouble.

    The policy is opposed by Chief Matanzima. However, the government sees the move as a logical step in the separation of the races. The only people ultimately able to call themselves "South Africans" would be the whites who number 5,000,000 and, perhaps the coloureds (people of mixed race) and Asians, whose destiny has still to be decided.

    It is a situation deplored by most blacks and many anti-apartheid whites. But the government says the urban blacks will not be forced to move to the homelands. They will be able to remain as foreigners -- a situation, according to Reuters, that could be used to justify the continual denial of political rights for them.

    SYNOPSIS: Southern Africa continues to dominate the headlines with the conflict over Rhodesia and the future of Namibia. However, a third issue is attracting growing world interest as well as controversy inside South Africa itself - namely, the government's plan to give the Transkei, the first black homeland, independence in October. Allan Hogan reports:

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAY886H6I4I549CXJ3H2V6DFPS
    Media URN:
    VLVAY886H6I4I549CXJ3H2V6DFPS
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    03/06/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:29:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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