African Questions

Publications of Dr. Klaus Frhr. von der Ropp

Political Observer and Consultant on Southern African Issues

MS received June 1977

Republic of South Africa:
Is Partition a Solution?*

Jürgen Blenk/Klaus von der Ropp

EDITORIAL NOTE: This contribution to the current debate on a new dispensation in South Africa was written more than a year ago** by two German observers of the Southern African scene and is published with the kind permission of the editor of Aussenpolitik.

In reviewing the deteriorating Southern African situation, the authors regard solution of the RSA‘s problems as the key to peace and stability on the subcontinent. They consider a racially integrated society in the RSA to be an illusion and propose geographical partitioning of the country as the only viable alternative to years of bloodshed. The authors reject the present policy of creating black homelands as inadequate and unjust, and are of opinion that the international community should not extend diplomatic recognition to independent homelands. The authors make detailed proposals for a future dispensation that would safeguard the interests of minority groups while at the same time providing for the political and economic independence of the black majority and suggest that the present RSA be divided along the so-called Sishen—Bloemfontein—Port Elizabeth line into a black northern and a white southern state. The latter would also include South Africans of mixed and Asian decent.

Reader's comments are invited and will be considered for publication in future issues of the Journal.

  • *Previously published in the German Foreign Affairs Review "Aussenpolitik" 3/1976, p.308—324.
  • **Aussenpolitik, 27(3), 1976, p.310—327. Hamburg, Übersee Verlag.


During recent years many factors, for the most part predictable, have created a crisis zone in Southern Africa to the extent where confrontation between the superpowers could ensue in the immediate or more distant future1. These factors include the collapse of Portugal's colonial empire; the victory of the MPLA, or more accurately, that of the Soviet-Cuban expeditionary force, in the war over the People's Republic of Angola; internal developments in the People's Republic of Moçambique; the exacerbation of the bush war in the Republic of Rhodesia that has now been in progress for more than four years; the calamitous state of the economies of Zaire and Zambia due to mismanagement, transport difficulties, the drop in the price of copper on the one hand, and increases in the price of imported goods on the other; the uncertain future of the South-West Africa mandated territory, and finally, the increasing gravity of internal conflict in the Republic of South Africa that has been influenced by many of the factors mentioned. Despite the undoubtedly justifiable volume of criticism against the policies of white African governments who have all too long clung to completely untenable positions, the question as to the extent of the West's own guilt nevertheless does arise. Far worse than remaining completely passive, the West has actually contributed to a political climate that makes it extremely difficult to resolve these conflicts.

The voting behaviour of most countries in the West during pertinent debates in the UN General Assembly appears to indicate their orientation towards the radical notions of the OAU, a body that reflects the interests of black Africa only. On the bilateral level the West has pursued policies almost amounting to indifference. The West has wasted various opportunities to pursue a policy of compromise, and for decades defaulted in fashioning its relations with the subcontinent. If Pretoria/Windhoek and Salisbury on the one hand, and the leading powers of the West on the other, were to adhere to the positions they have so often stated, it is to be feared that the states of southern Africa are at best destined eventually to become Soviet-influenced or -dominated people's republics modelled on Angola, at worst, and this appears more likely, they will be annihilated in the course of armed conflict destined to last for many years.

Relations between the West and the rest of Africa are certain to suffer considerable damage as result of the lasting failure of Western policy with regard to Portuguese-speaking Africa and the Republic of South Africa (Wischnewski, n.d., p.426; Natorp, 1975, p.1). The West's part in, and reaction to, the war in Angola have created an impression of helplessness, calling forth criticism from moderate black states like Cameroun, Zambia, Zaire, Kenya, and Ivory Coast. The most important course at present is to take every precaution to prevent this recurring. Massive assistance to Zaire, Zambia, Moçambique and Angola, and an invitation to become parties to the Lomé Convention in the case of the last two, may well be all the West can do for these states at present. The situation regarding the Republic of Rhodesia, South West Africa and the Republic of South Africa is somewhat different. Certain thoughts on the situation in general are expressed in the following.

The People's Republic of Moçambique

Portugal was forced to grant her East-African colony independence without any actual preparation, as is now widely known. As result of their domestic and economic policies, designed exclusively in accordance with ideological criteria, the new leaders in Maputo (Lourenço Marques), have contributed to the extensive decline in civilian administration, and all modern sectors of the economy.2 The departure of most white officials and the small Asian minority, brought about by the policies of the new government, have left a vacuum other countries willing to render assistance will be hard-pressed to fill during the foreseeable future (The Rhodesian Herald, 1976b, p.8; Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1976a, p.5; African Development, 1976, p.131, 133; Le Monde, 1976, p.4). The Moçambique administration will need decades to train its own cadres. Continued co-operation with the Republic of South Africa, that has now become even more indispensable to Moçambique, is understandably considerably complicated as result of the latter's ex-

  1. See Buthelezi (1976), Hirschman (1976), von der Ropp (1975, 1975).
  2. Maputo's recent policy towards Rhodesia that conforms to that of the UN, is doing more than is necessary. Compensation payments by third parties will not change much with respect to the decline of the Umtali-Beira railway and the port of Beira. (Cf. Jeune Afrique, 1976, p.36—37). On the position of Zaire and Zambia, cf. African Development (1976, p.137-138.)

pected and continued resistance to South Africa's racial policy. The most glaring manifestation of this has been Moçambique's recent membership, together with Angola, of the Liberation Committee of the OAU. The Committee is based in Dar es Salaam, and at present consists of 21 OAU member-states.

The People's Republic of Angola

The People's Republic of Angola is likewise faced with many of the problems already briefly mentioned. The likelihood of indigenous groups filling the power vacuum resulting from the flight of the Portuguese colonial administration here appears to be even more remote. The Soviet-Cuban intervention, well-prepared and equally well-executed via the People's Republic of the Congo, has also been adroitly identified politically with Africa's “progressive” camp, thereby enabling MPLA forces to defeat the FNLA and UNITA. These two groups did in actual fact enjoy the widest support among the Angolan population, but were disorganized and undisciplined and the military support they were rendered by South Africa eventually proved to be a political handicap (Salongo, 1975, p.3). Although her troops fought extremely well during direct engagements with the Cubans, South Africa likewise committed various near-fatal errors in relying to all appearances on promises from various Western countries that were never kept. The war failed to fulfil the original intention — to prevent one injustice replacing another.3 It still remains to be seen to what extent the USSR will use her newly acquired bases in Angola in her efforts to direct events in southern African countries still governed by white minorities (cf. Gramma, 1976). In this connection it is important to note that the condemnation of South Africa's “aggression” by the UN Security Council, as well as by Zambia, and to a lesser degree, Zaire, clearly indicated Pretoria's political isolation in Africa. This situation will not change while white South Africa's parliamentary system fails to bring about radical changes to the country's internal order, already so long overdue.

For the time being, the Cuban occupation force of approximately 10000 men is probably meant to ensure that neither the present conflicts among MPLA leaders, nor recent resumption of guerilla activity on the part of Unita4 plunge Angola into crises which would once more threaten the country's existence.

Republic of Rhodesia

Certainly no other state has in recent years occasioned as many completely erroneous prognoses as the Republic of Rhodesia. The valid assessment at present appears to be either a black government in Salisbury in the near future, or a fatal and inevitable escalation of the bush war. In the latter event, the Pretoria government could hardly participate in the fighting despite the strong Rhodesia lobby. On the one hand, the war could all to easily spread to South Africa, and Pretoria is well aware that a solution to the conflict in and concerning the Republic of South Africa herself would only be feasible once disputes regarding Rhodesia and South West Africa are settled.

The Nkomo/Smith negotiations that ended in failure in March 1976 (The Rhodesian Herald, 1976a, 1976c) would undoubtedly have been more successful had Nkomo been able to offer representatives of the white African minority genuine guarantees for their continued existence in Rhodesia. In this regard the following should be remembered - with the exception of South Africa, Rhodesia has the most highly developed economy on the African continent. The voluntary or forced departure of the country's 270000 white Africans, the very small group of Asians, and those of mixed descent would result in wideranging damage to the country's economy for decades to come; unlike South Africa, a multi-racial order still remains viable in Rhodesia as relations between the races are considerably less problematic; and finally, the white minority would probably accept a quick change of power if they were to receive assurances from the nationalists worthy of "guarantees" for their future existence in Rhodesia. The Nkomo group and the Smith government appear to be thinking along these lines. Consideration has been given to financial backing for these guarantees from Great Britain, other Commonwealth countries, the USA, and the Federal Republic of Germany. These states

  1. See especially Heimer, 1976; Barratt, 1976; Salongo, 1976, p.1-2. A number of similar, albeit more cautiously formulated, statements from Lusaka, that hesitated considerably longer than Kinshasa before recognizing the MPLA government, also exists.
  2. Mention should also be made of the fact that the FNLA maintains two camps in Lower Zaire, the role of which is unknown (internment camps or training camps for gueril|as?).

could therefore conceivably be pursuaded to grant generous development aid to a black Republic of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, aid that would in turn depend on the new Salisbury régime honouring promises to the white African minority, i.e. specifically that the latter will not be driven from the country.5

Were the new leaders in Salisbury to violate these guarantees, the funds would then, in accordance with conditions requiring precise definition beforehand, be withheld from the black Republic of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, and instead be awarded to white Rhodesians forced to emigrate as some form of compensation. There can be no doubt that neighbouring Zambia and Botswana would approve a solution to the Rhodesian conflict along these lines, while Moçambique and Tanzania could probably also be persuaded to co-operate. This would in turn mean that the OAU and consequently the UN would also accept the negotiated solution.

South West Africa/Namibia

The conference meeting in the Windhoek Turnhalle since September 1976 to hammer out a constitution for South West Africa has been hampered from the outset by SWAPO‘s absence. The importance of this "liberation movement“, initially purely Ovambo in origin, is overrated to the same extent by the OAU and the UN that have declared it the sole legitimate representative of black South West Africans and those of racially mixed descent, as it is underrated, equally unjustly, by leaders in Pretoria and Windhoek. Until the present two obstacles have always impeded SWAPO‘s participation in the Conference; Pretoria and Windhoek have blocked the movement's participation on the grounds that it is not representative, whereas SWAPO refuses to discuss the future of the mandate territory with white Africans if the representatives of black and racially mixed South West Africans it has dismissed as puppets were also to participate. If it were possible to bring SWAPO, that is showing signs of internal division, to the negotiating table in Windhoek, consideration should also be given to securing the future residence of the white African minority, who amount to 12,5 percent of the territory‘s total population. This could be achieved by constitutional guarantees having the financial backing of Western countries. Considering the extremely problematic nature of racial relations in this area, this would appear more difficult to achieve than in Rhodesia. The Federal Republic of Germany should in any case attempt a solution appropriate to the 25O00 South West Africans living in the mandate territory who are German or of German extraction. There can be little doubt that this country, consisting mainly of the Namib and Kalahari deserts, will regress to the level of "least-developed country" within a short time after white South West Africans have left, and will remain at this level indefinitely. Any attempt at securing the position of white South West Africans contains more promise of success than partitioning the territory into a larger state for black South West Africans, and a correspondingly smaller one for white and racially mixed inhabitants, a solution actually expedient but one hardly likely to be condoned at the OAU and the UN.

Republic of South Africa

The OAU, the UN, and others continue to censure South Africa's present political and economic order, and for very good reason. This has substantially resulted in the country's political isolation. Official sources in Pretoria now describe South Africa as a member of the politically rejected, a "Fifth World“ with membership including Taiwan, Chile, and lsrael. The fact that many countries of the Third World, the USSR and her satellite states, and the People's Republic of China are sharply critical of the Republic of South Africa while themselves trampling upon the ideals they proclaim is not considered relevant and is generally and unjustly overlooked.

White South Africans have imposed the policy of separate development on black South Africans, Indians, and those of racially mixed descent. Probably less because of its nature, and more due to concrete manifestation, the policy is completely untenable. On the other hand, observers do face the question whether the integrated social order (one-man-one-vote-in-one-state) usually simplistically proposed for immediate (or graduall implementa-

  1. See Point 10 of Kissinger‘s speech (The Rhodesian Herald, 1976c, p.1), in Lusaka during his Africa journey: “We state our conviction that whites as well as blacks should have a secure future and civil rights in Zimbabwe ... A constitutional structure should protect minority rights ... We are prepared to devote some of our assistance programmes to this objective." The Sunday Times (1975, p.1) had already reported that J. Nverere and K. Kaunda had proposed "to have the status of the white Rhodesians guaranteed by the UN or even the Western powers". See also in this connection, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, (1976b, p.3), and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, (1976, p.9).

tion in the Republic of South Africa by the country‘s many critics, is in actual fact practicable. By answering in the affirmative they deny the fact that South Africa is forced to contend not only with the problems of North-South conflict within her present borders, but also with animosity and mutual fear that have developed over centuries, making co-existence of the four South African population groups along these lines appear completely impossible. Whatever their reasons, South Africa's critics often fail to realise that white South Africans, those of mixed and Indian origin whose differences are outweighed by their common interests, and black South Africans simply lack a common denominator in the political sphere, and in a great many others, and that a single state, even on a federal basis, is incapable of functioning without this factor. In addition, none of these four population groups is prepared to abandon its “identity”. At a time when the search for authenticité noire, for black consciousness, has become manifest throughout Africa6, the act of putting faith in the ultimate convergence of systems, or as is the case of South Africa's (white) Progressive Party, believing that the black majority will adopt the value systems of the three minorities, appears to border on a blind belief in miracles.

If a racially integrated society were to remain an illusion, the only available alternative, in spite of attending economic obstacles, appears to be the partition of South Africa into a larger state for black South Africans, with a greater share in the country's natural resources, and a correspondingly smaller state for white South Africans and those of racially mixed and Indian origin7. The feasibility of the solution is being discussed both within the ranks of South Africa's white National Party, now in power for almost 30 years and having a comfortable two-thirds majority, and from time to time in the states of black Africa.

Two considerations should be stressed in this regard; if at all, the white African minority could only consider this solution if the West were to provide every conceivable guarantee that partition would not simply be an intermediate stage in a process eventually resulting in a complete takeover by the black majority, i.e. that portion to be retained by the three minority groups must be offered full membership of the Western defense community; and, secondly, the various successor states to the present Republic of South Africa can only be prevented from sinking into chaos if the West were to provide considerable economic, and particularly development aid for many decades, possibly in a form similar to the Marshall Plan. Geographical partition into several states can therefore only be considered if this were the only viable alternative to years, and perhaps decades of war, war that could hardly be expected to remain mere regional conflict.


Premises with regard to partition

South Africa's problem is in actual fact a white problem, and not as often incorrectly asserted, a black problem. The whites have been unable to resolve their problem, and therefore developed the habit of referring to it as a Black problem, an Indian problem, or a Coloured problem (Adam, 1969 & 1971), The problem of the white minority8 is primarily to be found in that it is not prepared to give up its privileged position and relative prosperity, and secondly in that it is unwilling to do without the cheap labour of underprivileged Blacks, Coloureds, and Indians, the very foundation of this prosperity and position. Whites have used the concept “apartheid”, at present circumspectly referred to as a policy of "separate development", to counter the justifiable black demands for equality. The stated aim of this policy is the supposed preservation of

  1. See also in this connection Inongo (1976); Kotzé (1974); Nyerere (1976). See also in connection with the work by Nyerere, Buthelezi (1976, end): "INKATHA is not peculiarly Zulu. it is a constitution of the type which has emerged in Black Africa to meet the deficiencies of the Westminster-type constitution. A democratic system with the stamp of mother Africa which has Consensus as its core".
  2. The advocates of this type of solution have recently been speaking out more frequently. See especially a lecture by Leistner (1975); Die Transvaler, (1976 i) on this lecture; Natorp, (1976, p.1) in connection wvith Natorp (1975, p.1). See also Halbach, (1975, end); Von der Ropp (1975, 1976); Seelmann-Eggebert (1975, p.10); The Economist, (1976, p.9, 11). Generally among the most interesting and just as important discussions within the National Party on South Africa‘s future, Die Transvaler, (1976a—1), with the opinions of a number of some very influential members of this party. In this connection also the interview with Joe Mathews, leading member of the African National Congress living in exile, by Hennie Serfontein, Sunday Times, 18 April, 1976, p.15.
  3. Whites 3,75 million — 17,5 percent; Coloureds 2,02 million — 9,4 percent; Indians 0,62 million - 2,9 percent; Blacks 15,06 million — 70,2 percent (1970 Census).

the "identity“ of the four "racial" groups, and their development within the limits of these groups. The fact can however not be over-looked that large numbers of whites specifically subsume their own economic interests, and therefore their prosperity and privileges, by "white identity”, and do not limit this to socio-cultural and religious aspects, whereas they consider the underprivileged position of blacks inherent to "black identity”.

In effect, apartheid not only means a social and political system to regulate relations between races, encompassing all spheres of contact between the various racial groups, it specifically includes spatial separation. In referring to speeches by H.F. Verwoerd, the former Prime Minister of South Africa and M.C. Botha, present Minister of Bantu Development, N.J. Rhoodie wrote as early as 1966; "geo-political partition is the logical long-term consequence of apartheid" (Rhoodie, 1969, p.357, 363), Indians and Coloureds would be allowed to remain in the white state.

Before analysing the various concepts of partition, premises for evaluating the possible partition of South Africa should first be established. Economic, social, cultural and political interaction between the successor states may be assumed to follow any partition of South Africa. Successful partition would demand the elimination of conflict, and this can only be achieved if discord between the two states remains limited in matters regarding their own interests. According to J. Galtung (1971) harmony in terms of separate interests can only be achieved in instances where the discrepancy in the standard of living in each country either is as small as possible, and/or if this continues to diminish. In the context of partition in South Africa, it would be essential to ensure that relations between the two successor states do not result in an imperalistic dependence where the economic and political leadership of the white state (centre of the central state) implements asymmetrical trade and labour relations to exploit the peripheral populations groups, and the resources of the black state (periphery of the peripheral state) with the aid of the leaders of the black state (centre of the peripheral state) to benefit also the peripheral population groups of the white state (periphery of the central state).

If partition is therefore not only to mean an intermediate stage in a process leading to a complete takeover of South Africa by the blacks, the principle of equality and stability and complete viability and capacity for development for both successor states must be used as a basis. Factors which have developed historically should be taken into consideration secondarily but only as long as they do not conflict with the principle of equality and stability.

Homeland Concept

The South African government has created ten homelands for blacks within the context of the policy of apartheid, and these are destined to become both economically and politically independent states by 1985. Industrial, and to some extent agrarian development potential, as well as their territorial fragmentation make the projected goal for the homelands appear utopian, and are reason to expect that the ”balkanized“ black periphery will remain permanently dependent, economically, and consequently politically, on the white "core" state (compare Figs. 1 and 2). Once all homelands have become independent, ten more or less monofunctional ministates (their populations varying from 0,2 to 4 million people) are expected to evolve from the "backward regions" of a country that in fact possesses considerable wealth. These states appear to have hardly any chance of development beyond the status of "least developed countries" (Maasdorp, 1974; Halbach, 1975), and their chief function would be to supply cheap labour to the economic cores of South Africa. At present 54 percent of South African blacks already live as "guest workers" in the Republic of South Africa, and have no rights outside their own homelands (Table 1). Although the homelands comprise 13 percent of South Africa in terms of surface area, they account only for 0,92 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product. As the often-quoted "people‘s right to self-determination" merely serves as a front for a policy of "modernizing racial domination" (Adam, 1971) the homelands concept must therefore be rejected as unjust and unfair. The Federal Republic of Germany must be sharply discouraged from extending diplomatic recognition to the homelands as all black African states and the majority of blacks in South Africa would construe this as recognition and approval of the policy of apartheid.

Concept of Consolidated Homelands

Following the collapse of Portuguese colonial rule in Angola and Moçambique, the traditional home-


Figs. 1&2: Concepts of Partition in South Africa, Economic regions in South Africa and proportion of blacks to total population




Homelands Consolidated homelands White homeland Proposed black area Republic of South Africa
Population % 32,78 49,71 13,77 82,06 100,0
Number 7030000 10662000 2955000 17600000 21448000
White % 0,54 20,00 22,32 71,90 100,0
Number 20000 750000 837000 2697000 3752000
Coloured % 0,62 6,13 72,79 14,75 100,0
Number 13000 124000 1469000 298000 2018000
Indian % 0,5 84,22 2,79 97,26 100,0
Number 3000 523000 17000 603000 620000
Black % 46,45 61,53 4,20 92,99 100,0
Number 6994000 9265000 632000 14002000 15058000
Surface area % 13 33 21 50 100
Gross Domestic Product % 0,92 21,40 20,40 74,74 100,0
Agriculture % 4,68 34,40 21,79 71,48 100,0
Mining % 3,35 20,46 1,42 89,88 100,0
Industry % 0,12 20,59 22,68 76,44 100,0
Electricity, water % 1,57 25,50 19,42 77,01 100,0
Construction % 0,10 17,80 17,10 79,55 100,0
Trade % 1,22 20,40 23,43 72,72 100,0
Transportation % 0,29 25,64 24,50 69,55 100,0
Finance % 0,04 12,71 21,82 75,01 100,0
Social Welfare % 0,29 20,26 20,57 77,32 100,0
Government % 2,58 24,21 24,22 70,22 100,0
Miscellaneous % 1,06 20,08 21,45 78,33 100,0

Source: Population Census 1970 (Report 02-05-01); South Africa (1975).

land concept ceased to be completely credible to the white leading class of South Africa. Early in 1975 the Sunday Times, a Johannesburg newspaper, published a map of the (supposed) land claims of homeland leaders (Halbach, 1975, p.33), which were then vigorously discussed (Fig.1). Similar thoughts had already been mentioned in 1967 by E.A. Tiryakian (1967), and as early as 1966 by N.J. Rhoodie (1969, p.362) who proposed uniting these consolidated homelands with Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland to form a "Bantu South Africa". During the course of personal conversations with leading government officials in 1975, a certain willingness to consider and discuss these ideas was to be observed. Considerable importance was however attached to the fact that a corridor for traffic from Johannesburg to Maputo/Moçambique by way of Nelspruit should remain in the hands of whites. Whites would also retain control of the Afrikaans-speaking area that includes Newcastle, Ladysmith, and the Tugela Basin. There appeared to be considerably more willingness to surrender the mainly English-speaking portion of Natal, including the Indians in that area (Fig. 1). The Newcastle-Tugela-Basin area is significant to white South Africa for several reasons. Newcastle and Ladysmith are important new industrial location. Water from the Tugela River is vital to Johannesburg's economy as the Drakensberg where the river rises receives a regular rainfall even in dry years. The water is


pumped over the watershed of the Drakensberg and flows through the Vaal River System to the Vaal Dam south of Johannesburg. Last but not least, the Newcastle area includes the legendary Blood River battlefield where the Zulu were trounced in 1838, an event that has assumed an almost mystical importance to the present descendants of the Boers.

The concept of consolidated homelands must however in turn be rejected on the grounds that these areas are still almost entirely on the periphery of the economic core of South Africa (Figs. 1 and 2). Besides the fact that by spatial enlargement the homelands would comprise 33 percent of what is now South Africa, but represent only 21,4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the country, these territories have no chance of obtaining the economic, and consequently political independence that would safeguard them against the status of mere satellites. In addition, approximately 40 percent of South African blacks are living as "guest wvorkers" outside the proposed consolidated homeland areas (Table 1).

Concept of a White Homeland

In their endeavour to drastically confront whites with the impossibility of the black homelands concept, blacks have in turn developed a white homeland concept they plan to implement after the victory of the black "liberation movement". This concept is quite seriously discussed in certain leading white circles. The size of the white homeland, referred to as a "whitestan" to parallel "bantustans", varies between one area delimited by a radius of 100 km with Cape Town at the centre, equalling approximately the size of the Dutch colony of 1700, to another equalling the boundaries of the Cape Colony in 1798 (Fig. 1). Viewed historically, the creation of a homeland for Whites, Coloureds and Indians within the boundaries of South Africa as of 1798 appears quite justified as this territory would exclude areas taken from blacks by means of unfair trades or dispossession. This concept of partition must also be rejected due to the obvious inequity and lack of development potential. While constituting 29,8 percent of the overall population of South Africa, the Whites, Coloureds, and Indians would retain only 21 percent in terms of surface area of what is now South Africa. Moreover, only 20,4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product is at present derived from this area (Table 1). The 1798 boundaries enclosed no mines worth mentioning, and although the white homeland would have three deep-water ports it would be without any sizeable hinterland. The water problem would also remain unsolved as the 1798 delimitation would mean that 3000 agricultural units planned for the Cradock region under the Orange River Irrigation Project (South Africa. Department of Water Affairs, 1962) would be in jeopardy, and these would be urgently required to settle then-landless white farmers from Natal, the Transvaal, and Orange Free State.

Despite the fact that the concept of a white homeland within the boundaries of 1798 must be rejected, the chances of this proposal as far as development and survival are concerned are obviously very much better in terms of advantages regarding capital, know-how, and existing infrastructure when compared for instance to those of the Transkei Bantustan, the homeland that became “independent” on 26 October 1976.

The Sishen-Bloemfontein-Port Elizabeth Line

The Sishen-Bloemfontein-Port Elizabeth partition line is an attempt to compromise between the various homeland concepts already described (Fig. 1). It has recently again been presented for discussion by Leistner (1976).9 This compromise appears justifiable from a historical point of view as such partition would mostly include those areas whites obtained in the past by settling on uninhabited land rather than by dispossessing black population groups. By obtaining only 50 percent of South Africa's surface area, the black successor state would appear to be at a disadvantage, but the higher Gross Domestic Product of 74,7 percent for the area is in close keeping with the black population percentage (Table 1) and would compensate for this. Both areas are richly endowed with mineral resources,a fact not expressed in the Table as the minerals of the northern Cape Province that would fall within the proposed white area have only recently become accessible by means of the new Sishen-Saldanha railway line. All South Africa's gold mines would however fall within the black area. The country's industrial centre, the area around Johannesburg (41 percent of the Gross Domestic Product) (South Africa, 1975), has been assigned to the black area as it would other-

  1. Leistner's proposal is however more limited, suggesting a condominium of the Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging complex. For the reasons given above the authors do not agree with this proposal.

wise have been impossible to apportion the Gross Domestic Product relative to the size of the respective population groups. In spite of this, the viability and industrial development potential of both territories would be ensured. Almost the entire automobile industry is for instance located in the white area, in Port Elizabeth. The white region would however lack steel plants, and oil-from-coal plants, but the country's first nuclear reactor, still in the planning stage, is to be built near Cape Town (indicating a measure of fore-thought?).

With the exception of an additional by-pass near Bloemfontein, the partition of South Africa along the Sishen-Bloemfontein-Port Elizabeth line would not require any further road construction. Both areas have three deep-water ports each, as well as separate rail and road systems. If one were to proceed on the basis of a population ratio of 70:30, the tourism areas appear to be similarly more or less evenly distributed. The Kalahari Gemsbokpark is however not the equivalent of the Kruger National Park.

With regard to the agricultural sector, regions with a higher rainfall would fall almost exclusively in the black area, whereas most labour-intensive and highly productive irrigated land would be located in the white area. The vital essential for the agricultural development of the white successor state is unimpeded access to the water of the Orange River that is to be utilized in establishing approximately 3000 new agricultural units south of the river, and 6000 to the west and northwest of the Verwoerd Dam, thereby providing a certain percentage of white farmers from Natal, the Transvaal and the northern Free State with new farming land.

The development axes and growth poles for future development given in the National Physical Development Plan for 1975 almost appear to indicate that the government of South Africa envisages the eventuality of partition along the Sishen-Bloemfontein-Port Elizabeth line. Until the present a polyp-like network of development axes and growth poles with Johannesburg at the centre has dominated development (Fig. 3a). The new plan provides for a strong emphasis on the Cape Province (Fig. 3b). Following the recommended partition of South Africa, the planned development axis Bloemfontein-Kimberley-Sishen-Upington-Saldanha Bay-Cape Town, could be further developed without undue difficulties to form a circular structure via Port

Fig. 3: Development-axes and growth poles in South Africa


Elizabeth-Cradock-Bloemfontein (Fig. 3c). Both areas would then have closed systems with development axes at their disposal, as well as adequate transportation networks that would ensure further independent economic development for both areas.

The map of socio-economic regions in South Africa shows a distinct division of the country into two regions (Fig. 2). The northern region is characterised by a colonial economic structure with a marked descent from central to peripheral areas, whereas the southern region tends to indicate a more balanced structure. With the exception of Durban and Johannesburg-Pretoria, the percentage of blacks to total population is in excess of 75 percent in almost all districts in the northern region. In the southwestern region this remains under 35 percent. The relatively narrow transition zone of 35-75 percent slacks to total population has intentionally been assigned to the white area as this includes the Orange River irrigation project, and the Sishen mining region, both essential to the development of the area destined for Whites, Coloureds and Indians.

The partition of a country is always problematic due to the population exchanges required. Based on the figures for 1970, approximately 2,7 million Whites, 300000 Coloureds, 600000 Indians, and 1 million Blacks, i.e. a total of 4,6 million people (Table 1) would have to be resettled across the Sishen-Bloemfontein-Port Elizabeth line. Despite these large numbers, the concept represents the lesser evil as 4,7 million people would have to be moved to implement the white homeland concept whereas the consolidated black homelands concept would cause the figure to rise to 7,2 million. In view of these figures, it should again be emphasised that partition of South Africa would only represent a viable solution if it remains the only alternative to years of bloodshed.

Percentage-wise, the Coloureds and Blacks would be least affected by resettlement across the Sishen-Bloemfontein-Port Elizabeth line as only 15 and 7 percent respectively of these population groups would have to leave their homes. Whites (72 percent) and Indians in particular (97 percent), would be most affected. The possibility of creating an enclave in the Durban-Pietermaritzburg area for South African Indians where about 75 percent live, cannot be considered in view of the expulsion of Indians from Uganda, Malawi and other black African states, and the tense relationship between blacks and Indians in South Africa.

In conclusion, a further reservation with regard to the partition of South Africa must be stressed. If partition of the country were not to result in failure as far as blacks are concerned, they will most certainly be required to abandon their traditional way of thinking, both in terms of their tribes, and homelands. Black South Africa will only be capable of asserting herself against white-brown South Africa if she stands united, and is not fragmented into ten successor states. Without this unity continued marginalisation of blacks by whites cannot be avoided.

Consequences for Federal Republic of Germany's South Africa Policy

Unless she persistently sidesteps any definite policy regarding South Africa, the Federal Republic of Germany and her EEC partners in particular, will be unable to avoid a stand on the four concepts for partition now being discussed in South Africa (Rode, 1975). To continue her previous policy that amounted to having no policy at all will inevitably result in a political and economic shambles similar to the one already confronting the West in Angola and Moçambique. The West's attempt to divorce politics and economics is utopian. At most, it would only reinforce existing structures of injustice.


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