Secretary of State George P. Shultz told African leaders today that if they can "produce a vision of a new Africa . . . moving confidently to address its own problems," the American people will respond with increased financial aid despite severe U.S. budget restraints.

Shultz stressed that point at a reception for heads of delegations to the special General Assembly session on Africa's massive famine and other chronic economic problems.

He hosted the reception after giving a lengthy speech. In the speech, made public Tuesday, Shultz called on Africans to reject "discredited orthodoxies" about state planning and "give greater scope to individual initiative."

He departed from his prepared text to criticize South Africa for the raids into neighboring countries that prompted the United States to expel Pretoria's senior defense attache last week. "I might say that a system of apartheid and the cross-border violence that seems to go with it destroys confidence and is antithetical to the kind of investment climate we are seeking to set up, let alone unacceptable in its own right," he said.

Before leaving for the spring meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization foreign ministers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Shultz told the reception, "We all agree that Africa needs resources, but those resources must be well used. In the United States our own budgetary constraints dictate major cutbacks in domestic programs as well as in international commitments.

"If we expect to maintain current aid levels to Africa, the American people will insist that our assistance be well used."

He warned that if the special session "produces a vision of an Africa hopelessly debilitated, with problems that no amount of resources can fix, then the American people and others will react negatively, cutting funds for critical development programs."