The Carter administration 1977 8 I tilted in the opposite direction It

The carter administration 1977 8 i tilted in the

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The Carter administration (1977-8 I) tilted in the opposite direction. It considered South Africa to be a liability to the Western alliance rather than an ally. It believed that the future lay with black nationalists and that the United States had an interest in coming to terms with them. Vice-President Walter Mondale would even tell Prime Minister John Vorster that America supported the principle of majority rule with universal suffrage-the ANC formula-one person, one vote. 220 CHAPTER 7
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Apartheid in Crisis. 1978-1989 By 1978, the apartheid state was in trouble. South Africa's economic boom of the 1960s and early 1970s had been followed by a sharp recession. The administration of the complex network of apartheid laws was proving to be extremely costly. Inflation was running at over 10 percent. The increase in the gross domestic product was scarcely keeping up with the increase in the population, and many white people were becoming poorer. There was also a shortage of the skilled labor needed to run private industry and the bureaucracy. That shortage was accentuated by the fact that in 1977, for the first time, there was a net white emigration from South Africa-largely of professionals and men and women with much-needed managerial and industrial experience. Moreover, the black population was increasing at a far greater rate than the white population and demographers were forecasting a rapid decline in the white proportion of the total population of South Africa. It had already dropped from its peak of 2 I percent to 16 221 APARTHEIDIN CRISIS percent and was expected to fall to IO percent early in the twenty-first century. 1 In other respects, too, the illusions of the Verwoerd era were shattered. The "decolonization" process, which Verwoerd had intended to assuage foreign criticism and provide Africans with the means to "develop along their own lines in their own areas," had failed on both counts. No foreign government recognized the independence of the Transkei or Bophuthatswana, which the government had declared to be independent states in I976 and 1977, and the economic integration of the entire country was not arrested. The client rulers of the Homelands were becoming an embarrassment. Utterly dependent on Pretoria for subsidies and protection, most of them were corrupt, inefficient, and authoritarian. Their territories were decaying and their inhabitants were struggling to survive by sending family members out to work in the white cities and on the white farms. As workers and consumers, black people were developing economic and political muscle in the heart of "white" South Africa, and their children had come to loathe the regime and its institutions. Young Indians and Coloureds as well as Africans regarded the regime as illegitimate. They were not deferential toward Whites; they were defianr.s The South African government also faced a transformed world order.
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