What do we think? A survey of white opinion on foreign policy issues no 6

This document describes the results of a survey of white opinion on South African foreign policy issues. The objective was to establish shifts in political views since the last survey two years ago in 1990. It investigated perceptions of domestic conflict and security, of domestic politics, and of the international community. Concerning domestic issues, the survey found that whites accepted the state’s reform initiatives, within limits, and reluctantly accepted negotiations. Concerning regional developments, there still exist negative perceptions that will take time to change. Concerning international relations, white respondents came to understand the commitment of the international community to ending apartheid, but they display hostility towards states applying sanctions against South Africa. The survey of popular foreign leaders show that Bush, Major and Kohl receive high ratings, and Yeltsin, Mugabe and Nujoma do not. In light of the fundamental transition in South Africa, white South Africans appear to be confused and anxious. They have difficulty in accepting the implications of a transition to democracy and have not yet come to terms with the fact that the future of southern Africa lies in co-operation.