The chairman of South Africa's largest business enterprise said today that Carter administration pressure on South Africa will help bring about peaceful change in his country.
Harry F. Oppenheimer told a Foreign Policy Association luncheon, however, that "only a very small minority of the whites and by no means overwhelming majority of the blacks" agree with him.
South Africa's government and most of its leading businessmen take the position that pressure from Washington is unwarranted meddling in the nation's internal affairs.
The Nixon and Ford administrations did not attempt to pressure with his advocacy of human rights throughout the world, has taken a more forceful attitude toward South Africa's white minority regime.
Oppenheimer has been an opponent for years of the National Party government headed by Prime Minister John Vorster, but he has not previously publicly welcomed American anti-apartheid pressure.
Oppenheimer, who heads the Anglo-American Corp., which is one of the world's largest mining corporations and produces about 40 per cent of South Africa's gold, met with Vice president Mondale earlier this week in Washington.
Oppenheimer qualified his approval of the Carter Administration's approach to South Africa by saying that peaceful change would not be possible unless the ruling white Afrikaners "can be brought to believe that their identity would not be threatened should they cease to hold their present monopoly of political power."
He also rejected Mondale's suggestion last May that South Africa should decide its political future on the basis of universal sufferage.
"It is one thing for a foreign country to press South Africa to rid itself of an unjust system of government based on racial discrimination: it is quite another thing to seek to impose a simplistic system based on majority rule and one-man-one-vote as the only reasonable solution," he said.
Oppenheimer was introduced today by U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young. Last May, Young visited South Africa as Oppenheimer's guest.