OPINION

Black majority rule: What the whites feared

Survey of attitudes during the apartheid-era of the likely consequences of surrendering power

White attitudes to black majority rule in South Africa, 1979, 1984 and 1987

 

1979 Study (n =350)* Afrikaners

1984 Study (n = 150)* Afrikaners

1987 Study (n= 1,012)

 

Afrikaners

English-Speakers

Statements

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

1

Life for whites would carry on as before

2.3

86.4

1.9

83.9

7.1

91.2

10.5

84.4

2

The physical safety of whites would be threatened

84.3

4.6

80

5.5

78.5

19.1

70.1

22.1

3

The language and culture of white society would be protected

13.3

68.7

9.6

76.3

8.3

88.5

14.6

75.2

4

The income and living standards of whites would suffer

83.8

8.4

85.2

4.3

82.4

15.5

78.9

15.9

5

Law and order would be upheld

11

73

5

77.8

12.8

84

14.8

73.3

6

Blacks would discriminate against whites

91

3.5

94.8

2.7

91.4

6.8

78.2

12.1

7

White women would be molested by blacks

83.7

4.4

81.7

8.6

85.3

10.8

60.1

26.7

8

Communist policies would be implemented

89.6

4.3

94.1

2.2

88.3

7.6

67.9

17.3

9

White possessions would be safe**

-

-

-

-

8.4

87.5

17.3

69.5

*As is made clear in the text, only the 1987 findings are based on a national sample and therefore representative of white South Africa as a whole.

**This statement was not included in the 1979 and 1984 studies.

Source: Pierre Hugo, "Towards Darkness and Death: Racial Demonology in South Africa", The Journal of Modern African Studies (December, 1988)

This item first appeared on Politicsweb, 11 November 2009