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TOUGH QUESTIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICA TO ANSWER

 WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Embassy of South Africa issued the following comments by Harry Schwarz, South African ambassador to the United States, May 4, at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service:
 As we approach closer to an election, many in South Africa find themselves facing a "moment of truth."
 There are some vital questions which require answers.
 -- Are white South Africans really prepared to have a universal franchise election?
 -- Are black South Africans prepared to accept a negotiated constitution rather than overthrow the government by force?
 -- Is the concept of a government of national unity acceptable both to those who think they will win the election and those who are giving up power?
 -- How will the high levels of political violence as well as crime be reduced?
 -- What will whites be expected to sacrifice?
 -- What must be done to meet reasonable expectations of the previously disenfranchised?
 -- What does redistribution of wealth mean?
 Some of these are tough questions to answer, to others we have already found the solutions. Let me deal with each of the questions and give what I believe are the answers.
 1. The overwhelming majority of white South Africans accept that he election must be on a universal franchise and most now believe that the sooner the election is held, the better it will be for the country.
 2. The majority of all South Africans have chosen negotiations as opposed to revolution or civil war, only fringe groups on the right and left are seeking to use violence to either overthrow the government or maintain minority rule or seek autonomous states.
 3. The concept of a government of national unity as the first interim government is generally acceptable with two qualifications -- it must be truly representative and constitute a government of true national reconciliation, and secondly it must be able to govern, and those who participate in it must be constructive and not obstructive.
 4. Crime and violence are a major concern. Once an election date has been fixed and the process commences, any excuse for violence falls away and the police must be able to devote more of their time to fight crime rather than deal with unrest. All political leadership, not only the government, must work actively to restore stability and create a climate in which fair and free elections can be held.
 5. Whites are prepared to make sacrifices, but they are uncertain of what is required of them. This uncertainty needs to be removed. Demand too much and an unacceptable situation with adverse results can come about, if it is too little it will be regarded as meaningless. There is a real substantial wealth gap, but the image that all white South Africans are wealthy by industrial world standards is an illusion.
 6. The expectations of the disenfranchised are readily understood. It is not easy to expect deprived people to be patient. There has to be a meeting of reasonable expectations and a hope of a better future, not words but material reality.
 7. Education, housing, health and, above all, job creation need very urgent attention and tangible results need to be seen.
 8. There is a vagueness about the phrase "redistribution" of wealth which holds out undue hope to those without and instills fears in those who have. Changes in state expenditure, making land available for resettlement are obvious actions to take. It would help all if the parties defined their programs on this issue and removed uncertainty.
 What we need to realize is that time is running out on the economy, and unless all now agree to rebuild and re-create a work ethic, generate work and opportunity, we are likely to have a democracy which may be an end in itself, not a means to a better life.
 This spells danger for all of us in South Africa.
 -0- 5/6/93
 /CONTACT: Anli von Maltitz of the Embassy of South Africa, 202-232-4400/


CO: Embassy of South Africa ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

DC-KD -- DC028 -- 5670 05/06/93 16:57 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1993
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