Acknowledgments and Preface
The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of the writers of the 1981 edition of South Africa: A Country Study , edited by Harold D. Nelson. The authors also wish to thank numerous individuals in various government agencies and private institutions who generously shared their expertise and research materials in the production of this book. Thanks are due to R.T.K. Scully, Medical Assistance Programs (MAP) International; Harvey Leifert, Medical Education for South African Blacks (MESAB), Inc.; James B. Parks, American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); Smaroula Georgina Stephens, United States Information Agency; and Witney Schneidman, Samuels International Associates. Valuable assistance was also provided by analysts Brenda Branaman, Ed Campbell, Joe Dickie, Simon Dodge, W. Fitzpatrick, Thomas Ofcansky, and Rachel Warner. Specialists at the International Labor Organization; Investor Responsibility Research Center; United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census International Programs Center; and World Bank-International Monetary Fund Joint Library also helped the authors acquire recent information on South Africa. None of these individuals is responsible for the work of the authors, however.
Members of the diplomatic mission of South Africa provided valuable assistance despite the pressing demands of their country's political transition. Juan A. Henriquez, of the South African Embassy Public Affairs Office, deserves particular thanks; he and several other embassy officials took time to explain the often complex transition as it unfolded in their country. The views presented in this book do not necessarily agree with theirs, however.
Several employees of the Library of Congress made special efforts to acquire timely materials on South Africa for this volume. Afaf S. McGowan, of the African/Middle Eastern Acquisitions Section; M. Laverne Page, of the African-Middle Eastern Division; and Joseph Rowe, of the Federal Research Division, deserve particular mention.
The authors also wish to thank members of the Federal Research Division staff who contributed directly to the preparation of the manuscript. These people include Sandra W. Meditz, who reviewed all drafts and served as liaison with the sponsoring agency; Marilyn Majeska, who managed editing and book production; Andrea Merrill, who reviewed tables and maps; Barbara Edgerton and Izella Watson, who performed word processing and initial typesetting; and David P. Cabitto and Janie L. Gilchrist, who prepared the camera-ready copy. Thanks also to Helen C. Metz for proofreading almost-final copy.
Contributors to the preparation of this volume also included Mimi Cantwell, who edited chapters; Carolyn Hinton, who performed the prepublication editorial review; and Joan C. Cook, who compiled the index. Graphics were prepared by David P. Cabitto, who, along with the firm of Maryland Mapping and Graphics, prepared the final maps. Special thanks are owed to Sandra K. Ferrell, who designed the illustrations on the cover and the title page of the chapters.
Finally, the authors acknowledge the generosity of individuals who allowed their photographs to be used in this study. Particular thanks go to R.T.K. Scully for photographs taken during his extensive anthropological research and travels in South Africa.
South Africa's emergence from global isolation in the 1990s parallels its political and economic reorganization, as it works to eliminate vestiges of the notorious system of apartheid. That system provoked international condemnation and deprived society of much of its human potential, and coping with its legacies has complicated the process of establishing a new system based on nonracial norms. An interim constitution, first implemented in April 1994 to govern the political transition, is being replaced by a new constitution, intended to protect legal equality for individuals regardless of racial identity after 1999. The transition has just passed the halfway mark as this book goes to press, and this volume reflects the fact that many political and social issues remain unresolved.
This book replaces South Africa: A Country Study , also produced in a time of turmoil in 1981, as the country began to recognize some of the demands for broader political participation by all racial groups. Like its predecessor, this study is an attempt to treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant historical, social, economic, political, and national security aspects of contemporary South Africa. Sources of information included scholarly books, journal articles, and monographs; official reports of governments and international organizations; foreign and domestic newspapers; the authors' previous research and observations; and numerous periodicals. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book; brief comments on particularly valuable sources appear at the end of each chapter.
Place-names follow the system adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN), wherever possible. Nine new provinces have been designated to replace the four provinces and ten homelands of the apartheid era. Some other desigations--for historical landmarks, public holidays, as well as some public buildings and government offices--are still being changed in the mid-1990s in recognition of the country's new political dispensation. New names have been included as available. As of early 1997, the provincial capital of KwaZulu-Natal is still to be decided between Ulundi and Pietermaritzburg. The apartheid-era designation for the racial category known as "coloured" is retained in this volume for historical accuracy.
The country has eleven official languages, which include nine Bantu languages, selected to recognize the first language of almost all South Africans. The two previous official languages, Afrikaans and English, remain important, but the former no longer dominates the public media and is being phased out in some official contexts, such as military training. Some provincial legislatures are considering language policies to be incorporated into provincial constitutions in the late 1990s.
All measurements in this book rely on the metric system; a conversion table is provided to assist those readers who are unfamiliar with metric measurements (see table 1, Appendix). A glossary is also included to explain terms with which the reader may not be familiar. The use of the term billion follows the American system; for example, one billion means 1,000,000,000.
The body of the text reflects information available as of May 1996. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated. The Bibliography lists published sources thought to be particularly helpful to the reader.
|Country Studies main page | South africa Country Studies main page|