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Vol 38 No 15

Published 18th July 1997

South Africa

Heading south

Chief Buthelezi is making common cause with the ANC's Modise to keep out illegals

Deputy President Thabo Mbeki speaks animatedly of an 'African Renaissance' – an updated version of Kwame Nkrumah's Pan-Africanism but with South Africa rather than Ghana steering the way. After two years of treading water, Pretoria's Africa diplomacy is getting some results in southern and central Africa at least. This makes immigration policy, currently under review, a more than usually sensitive matter. By regional standards, South Africa is well off, with a gross national product per head of US$3,160: that's 36 times greater than neighbouring Mozambique's; South Africa's gross domestic product of $130 billion is 20 times that of Zimbabwe ($6 bn.), the next richest country in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). As the United States tightens controls (especially on Latin Americans) as does western Europe (especially on North Africans), South Africa's government is working out how to limit the human inflow.

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