From an article on South Africa by British journalist John de St. Jorre in Africa Notes, July 15:
There is a sense of expectancy in the air that was not apparent to me in 1966 or even in 1976. There is a long haul ahead but the country's "brawling constituencies," in journalist Ken Owen's phrase, seem to be strengthening their defenses and getting ready for the fray.
I do not have the impression that a negotiating -- or even a pre-negotiating -- climate exists. For the blacks, the balance of power isn't right; they would be negotiating at a severe disadvantage. For the whites, notably the Afrikaners, the costs are too low. Why concede anything of substance when you are not hurting and when, moreover, the alternative -- black rule -- is so frightening?
Yet the blacks, despite their relative powerlessness and isolation, have seized the initiative. Their agenda is very different from the government's. They are not talking about economic and social reform or cautious, government-controlled schemes to "share power" in complicated consociational structures dreamt up by Chris Heunis and his not untalented coterie of constitutional engineers.
"We are not fighting and dying in order to have a better system of waste disposal," Oliver Tambo commented recently on the new Regional Services Councils.
"The issue is not reform any longer," said Professor Deon Geldenhuys, "it is the struggle for power."
Some whites know this and have accepted it. They have truly crossed the only Rubicon that matters in South Africa and are now actively involved on the side of the blacks.