On the edge of the otherwise orderly Doornkop Cemetery stretch row after row of disheveled mounds of red earth, each two feet high, each marked only by a number.

These are the hastily dug graves of blacks who died in a year of sporadic disorders in Soweto, the troubled township outside Johannesburg - pathetic memorials in a blacks-only cemetery.

For miles in all directions are the gutted shells of public buildings - government offices, shops, clinics, banks, liquor stores - occasionally accentuated by the frames of burnt-out cars.

The graves and the ruins are reminders of the price blacks have paid to express their frustration and anger since last last June 16 more than 600 dead, hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of damage, more than a thousand arrests and at least 3,000 who fled into exile. The wounds are far from healed, for Black South Africans feel that there has been little change in the past year.

Orlando High School principal Willie T. Kambule said the week, "We have taken one step backwards since it started. We have lost so much in human and material terms, and gained nothing politically or socially."

The violence that began here and spread to all corners of the country has led to a lot of talk, but few promises of change. This lack of reaction has led to still greater bitterness, with blacks now asking: If the government does not respond to this, what does it take?

To more than 8 million blacks who live on the outskirts of the white cities and farms, the government has conceded little over the past year: a few schools, a new community council that allows urban blacks some more token powers, electricity, eventual home ownership.

On the fundamental black demands, however, there has been no change. There has been no movement away from the apartheid laws that separate blacks and whites, from birth in segregated hospitals to burial in segregated graveyards.

One of the most important issues among urban blacks is the double standard in education for blacks and white - a major complaint of militant black students.

Shortly after the unrest exploded last June the government agreed to withdraw the requirement that Afrikaans, the language of early Dutch settlers, be used in black classrooms - the dispute that had triggered the unrest. But officials have not been willing to review the black educational system as a whole.

For the 9 million blacks living in the nine tribal reserves, or homelands, the government intends to continue carving them into independent mini-states over the next few years. The policy will make almost 18 million blacks aliens in land of their birth, citizens of "countries" that are politically and economically unviable and will remain dependent on the white South African mainland.

South African Minister of Justice Jimmy I. Kruger claims that about 80 per cent of the black population supports separate development for the races.

The government appears so sure of its policies that Prime Minister John Vorster defied pressure fron U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale at the Vienna summit meeting last month to introduce changes that would allow "full participation" of all races in South Africa's political structure. Vorster's intransigence could cost South Africa the support of the United States and other Western countries.

But underneath the government's confident front there is trouble, for there is growing polarization on all sides, even among the traditionally tight-knit Afrikaner community - the 60 per cent of the white population that dominates the government.

The unrest here began as a black student protest over the use of an alient tongue in school. It has grown to include discontent among both blacks and whites over South Africa's political, economic and social structure.

When this black township's white administrative board announced rent increases on May 1 of up of 80 per cent, while unemployment and inflation are rising rapidly, adults joined the students' protest. About half of the black population in Soweto already lives below the poverty line, according to the Institute of Race Relations.

The increases would have been an overwhelming blow to all blacks, since the government still owns all Soweto homes. The government has delayed the increases, but warn that they were inevitable.

Detentions of student and adult leaders also fanned the unrest. And the recent banishment of Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned nationalist leader Nelson Mandela and a recognized leader in her own right, from Soweto to a small isolated town hundreds of miles away has led to a new wave of anger among blacks who viewed her as one of the few who spoke on their behalf.

The implications of this spreading discontent among blacks of all ages brings the possibility of wide-scale trouble ever closer. Its impact was evident last month when members of Soweto's urban Bantu Council - a black advisory group to the white administration - resigned en masse because of pressures by peers as well as students, leaving the government with no official liaison with its black township.

Dissidence among Soweto's adults could lead to what the government fears most: a labor boycott that would cripple this country's troubled economy.

Among whites, discontent has been spurred by the government's apparent reluctance to take some significant action that would guarantee them a peaceful future - concern reflected by the growing numbers who are emigrating.

The two moderate political parties, composed mainly of the 40 per cent of the English-speaking white population, have been unable to make any gains in Parliament. But the more interesting development has been among the Afrikaners, who have been in South Africa for 300 years.

The first rumblings began urging that blacks be granted more political power and receive equal pay for equal work, equal job and educational opportunities. They also called for ending petty apartheid practices such as separate public-toilet facilities and transportation systems.

Ripples of discord were reported among the secret Afrikaner brotherhood that is made up of decision-makers in business, acedemia, journalism, religious organizations and politics. Sources say that five leading members appealed personally to Vorster to take major action, but were told that the situation was under control.

The most significant recommendation for change was made last month by Minister of Sport Piet Koornhof, who suggested that South Africa consider adopting the Swiss canton system, which would give political rights to urban blacks.

For the Afrikaner - who traditionally supports government policies in the name of white survival - such public grumbling represents a dramatic development reflecting the growing discord that could hurt the changes of continued Afrikaner domination.