Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]
White Political Parties:
White Political Parties:
a) The United Party:
The United Party, the official opposition would if successful try to maintain White supremacy throughout the Republic by milder means than those introduced by the Nationalists. The United Party has been committed on 'White leadership" in the interests of all our people and as an instrument bring about a sharing of power and responsibility among all our population groups.
In recent years they have adjusted thier policies to those of the Nationalist Party to such an extent that they are little more than an English carbon copy of the ruling party.
The United Party has accepted that certain Bantustans may become independent states, but considers that close links should be maintained with such territories, and that as much of South Africa as in feasible should be preserved as a single economy.
In terms of its federal plan, various communities would be identified according to ethnic and geographic considerations. Each would be established, consisting of M.P.'s and members of each assembly, to advise the central (White) parliament on matters affecting the community concerned.
A federal assembly would be created consisting of three representatives of each legislative assembly together with 120 members elected on the basis of a formula reflecitng the contribution of each community to the country's gross domestic product.
Parliament would, in its discretion, gradually delegate certain powers concerning matters of common interest, to this federal assembly. This body would not be able to interfere in the internal affairs or special interests of the various communities and their legislative assemblies.
The Party believes that seperate social and residential facilities for the various racial groups should be retained. But permanently urbanised Blacks should have the right to acquire freehold title to land in their own residential areas, should be afforded a greater sense of security, and should have improved standards of living, educational facilities, and training for employment.
b) The Progressive Party
The Progressive Party would introduce constitutional reforms, giving full political rights to all adults who meet a test of "civilisation"; create safeguards against group domination and guarantee the fundamental rights of all individuals.
The Progressive Party bases its policy on the belief that South Africa is, and will remain a multi-racial country whose citizens are interdependent. Its philosophy is that in any society, the individual human being is of paramount importance. Each citizen must be treated with equal dignity. Merit, and not skin colour, should be the measure of individual worth.
The Party opposes compulsory social integration as well as compulsory segregation. Social relationships should be regulated by the conventions of society and the attitudes of individuals. The Progressives consider that South Africa should become a federation of, largely, autonomous provinces, the provincial boundaries being redrawn to take into account demographic, economic and other factors.
For approximately 13 years the Progressives held one seat in the White Central Parliament, that of Helen Suzman but at the general election and a subsequent bye- election, in 1974, increased their number of seats to eight.
On 11th February, 1975, a new South African political party was formed from dissident members of the United Party. Largely composed of the Young Turk faction of the United Party, this Reform Party as it was called, later merged with the Progressives to form the Progress Party.
c) The Herstigte Nasionale Party
The Herstigte Nasionale Party, led by Dr Albert Hertzog, former Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, believes in the intensification of apartheid on more restrictive lines reminiscent of the old Afrikaner Society of the 19th century.
The Herstigte Nasionale Party believes that international forces making for racial integration must be resisted. The Party regards the maintenance of separate identities by the Whites and Blacks as paramount; the latter must not be given expectations of social equality with Whites.
Economic forces militating against separate development must be countered to ensure peaceful progress in which the separate development of the White and Black groups should be strengthened. Industrialisation should be checked if it is overstimulated by foreign capital and labour.
d) The Democratic Party
The Democratic Party, led by Theo Gerdener, former Nationalist Minister of Interior, was formed in 1973. It advocates a "twin-stream" policy. In the one stream would be the Whites, Coloureds and Indians. All basic rights presently enjoyed by the Whites only would be extended gradually to the others. In the course of time, all public facilities would be shared, and a state would emerge in which all citizens had full equality, petty discrimination based on colour being eliminated.
The democratic Party would redraw the boundaries of the Bantustans to consolidate into large areas which could become viable, completely independent, states. Large urban African townships might be converted into autonomous city states of into integrated parts of Bantustans, or else urban Africans could form a third bloc of the peoples of South Africa.
The mixed White, Coloured and Indian areas together with the independent African city states, and possibly neighbouring states would be linked in a confederation, economically inter-dependent but politically independent.
While an ever increasing proportion of the White electorate has supported the Nationalist Party since 1948, there has been a small but continuous stream of Whites fundamentally critical of the official policy. These are drawn from both Afrikaner and English speaking communities, and are mainly academics, journalists and clergymen.
They have pointed to the glaring gulf between theory and practice of apartheid, to the absence of any adequate substitute for participation in the political process for Blacks and to the harshness of the methods employed to maintain apartheid. In the main they have been ineffective in creating an opposition within South Africa, but have embarrassed the Government by their effectiveness in arousing public opinion abroad. They, too, like all opponents, are allowed to function, harassed at the Government's discretion. After that they are then arrested jailed, placed under house arrest or deported.