copt no. 1T2
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
The fotloatng member organltatlon* of the Intelligence AdcUory Committee participated with thereparation of this utfmatt The intelligence organisations of the Department* of State, the Amp, the Kaey. the Air force, and the Joint Staff. AO member) of the Intelligence Advisory Commute* concurred In this estimate on it October jim.
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PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
To assess tot strategic importance of the Union of South Africa; analyze the political and racial situation in the Union; and estimate future developments which may affect US Interests.
strategic importance of the Union of South Africa arises chiefly from itsproduction of chromite,and amosite asbestos; from its potential production of uranium; and from the fact that in event of general war the Union's bases and port facilities would be valuable, especially if the Suez Canal were closed.
We believe that under presentthe Union will probably remain for at least four years unable to meet itstoull armoredfor Middle East defense within three months after the outbreak of war. If war should break out now. South Africa could not provide theess than one year, even with prompt, substantial, outside material aid
The chief immediate problem in South Africa is the extreme political tension between the Nationalists and theNationalist and Opposition leaders will endeavor to avert civil war, butthey intend to press their positions to the limit, short ofonflict, and because they may miscalculate theirto control their followers insituations, the possibility of civil war cannot be excluded.
Over the long run the repressive racial policy of the whites will almost certainly lead to rebellion or the non-whiteCommunist influence, presently small, will probably play an increasing part In stimulating unrest.
The tensions in South Africa arefor the next several years toseriously with the export of strategic materials, but they may limit the Union's ability to dispatch forces outside the country in event of war. In the longer run, when rising racial tensions erupt into widespread disorders, the outflow of strategic materials will be hampered or even halted.
Racial tensions in South Africa will almost certainly have an increasinglyeffect on race relations elsewhere In Africa and on the relations of India and the rest of Asia with the West. If the UN intensifies its criticisms of the Union's racial policy, the Union may carry out Its threat to withdraw from the UN.
Strategic Importance or South Africaconomic. The strategic economicOf the Colon of South Africa aristaHorn its targe-scale productionnd asbestos. From the Union come about one-quartere West's supply of chromlte (including practically all chemxal-grade chromltene-quarter of total Western manganese supply, and the entire Western supply of the stiategic grades of air. crowouth Africanof corundum, antimony, and Industrial diamonds Is also Important- The Union isotential source of other strategicUnder US contracts, the production of uranium,y-product of gold mining, is just beginning. This development promises to mlW the Union of South Africa asource of uranium In addition, the Union's gold production is important to the BpaPCtti stability of the OK and the Sterling Area.
B. ytiitary. South Africa's armed forces are at present undermanned, poorly trained, and Inadequately equipped Their regular strengtb totals less thsnand th.-irless0 men.hter-bornber squadron, with US equipment, isin Korea. The Nation lllst Government Is apathetic regarding military mattersthe current military budget hassomeercent over the previousyear, and stands9 percent of the total national budget, it constitutes onlyercent of the Union's national Income. More over, the Government's administration of the military establishment has been inept and Its sppointments and promotions in the three services have been largely based onrather than professional qualifications. Morale in the services is low. retirement of able officers has accelerated, and few inducements exist to attract recruits. Union armed forces are almost completely dependent uponsources for armaments.
its present mill tar"Africa has considerable ml'ltaryIn Worldhe Southexcellent fighting qualitiesadaptability. Byereiven Ume andsubstantial gi ound and air forcesbe made available for Middle Eastand naval and air forces forthe South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
South Africa hasommitment to the UK to contribute one armored division for the defense of the Middle East within three months after the outbreak ofwar. The Government has. however, made tittle preparation to meet thisWo estimate that at least one year would be required forivision to betrained, and transported to theEast, even if the equipment were made available promptly from outside sources.
The Union's naval, air. and port facilities would also be of considerable value In event of general war. as in World War n. especially if the Sues Canal were denied the West These faculties, including the Britishnaval base at Simons town, would be useful for ship and aircraft maintenance work, air and sea operations againstconvoy organisation and protection, storage and resupply operations, and troop siaging operations.
two chief problems confrontingthe present extreme tensionGovernment and Opposition anddeterioration of race relationsfrom the conflicting aspirationsof the Union's heterogeneouselements- Thereasic divisionthe dominant white minorityil-
C3 itocsplle of ehromit* and mar.rLn**rat enough to offset for thrto or foura tola! Soa of the South African source of supply The C3 rtoefcpue of uw strategic gradss ofP small.
Tin Onion did not and will not permitto "errr intatus, thoujh it uses Uirm in auxiliary
Uon and the ten million Natives.nd Mattes. In eddiuon. the whites uiemselves ere dittoed Into two hostile political groups, the Nationalists, predominantly Dutch-descent Afrikaners, and the Opposition, mainly ot Brttlsn descent.
The Whites. The Union's white, orminority totally controls the political and economic We of South Africa. Aboutercent are Afrikaners. These speak aversion of Dutch called Afrikaans, and most belong to the intensely conservative Dutch Reformed Churches. The Afrikaners have been predominantly rural, but annumber are entering business and tne professions.
The remainingercent of the white population Is largely of British descent. This group Is mainly urban and commercial, and Is economically the more powerful. Whilebetween Afrikaners and Britishthe Boer War. the two groupsommon Interest in the perpetuation of while supremacy and In the economic development of South Africa
he Non-Whites. Theillion Natives (BantuillionColoreds (mixedsiatics (mostlyhese three groups have little in common exceptof the whites. The large Native majority is divided into several major linguistic groups and hundreds of tribes speaking manyIt Is largely Illiterate.ew thousand Natives haveecondaryand there are few college graduates and professional people. Aboutetcent of the natives are engaged in primitive afrricui-tural pursuits In the native reserves, about one-third live in or near white urban areas, mostly In slums, and the remainder work on white farms. The Natives do moat of the unskilled manualhe Coloreds and Asiatics are betterand culturally more advanced than the Natives. The Coloreds.ercent of whom live in Cape Province, regard themselves as an adjunct of white society. They work for the whites as waiters, factory workers, artisans, and farmhands. The Asiatics, of whomercent live In NaUJ Province, are mostlyThey maintain close culturalwith India, and many are graduates of Indian or British universities.mall number are wealthy businessmen, most are small traders, truck gardeners, waiters, and workers In light Industry.
The Notionalist-Opposition Controversy and tho Prospects or Civil War
Character and Policies of the Nationalist Government. The Nationalist Party of Prune Minister Malan came to power in8lim majority of five Assembly seats, although it received onlyercent of the popular vote. It has since Increased Itsto thirteen seats by winning oneand sweeping the South West Africa' electionhe Malan Government represents an extreme, anil-British, Afrikaner nationalism. Tho Cabinet Is whollyand the Nationalist Party and itsalmost entirely so. The Party finds Its main inspiration In the Ideals of the early Boers: racial purity (free even from Britishhite supremacy, republicanism,atriarchal society founded on the teachings of their church. The Party'sauthoritarianism Is evident in theencroachments on civil liberties and in its moves to insure for theermanent grip on political power in the Union.
A fundamental element of the Nationalist Party program Is Its policy of apartheid, meaning strict racial segregation, designed to insure continued white supremacy.has been practiced by the whites forbut influential Natlonalisls believe white superiority divinely ordained and they carry the policy to extremes. Thehas deprived non-Europeans of scanty privileges they had previously enjoyed, has in-
'The former German eolonr of South Weit Africa ns mandated to the Union by the League ot Na-Uorun IMS the Unionaw granUng South West Africa representauon In the Union Legislature, and the first eleeUon based on that law wu held
tensifled segrrssuon relations, and hasrogram involving the physical transfer of long-established non-European communities. The Nationalists allege that more thorough segregation will facilitate the economic and social development of the non-Europeans and minimize Into-racial friction.
The Parliamentary Opposition. The large United Party of the late Field Marshal SmuLs leads the Opposition.3 it wonercent of the popular vote, seven percent more than the Nationalists, butdue toand over-representation ofercent of the Assembly seats. The Party's supporters art mainly of British descent, butubstantial minority of moderate Afrikaners. The party leader has Invariably been an Afrikaner. Becauseembership varying widely from liberal to conservative, the relative disinterest In politics of much of the English-speakingnd the current unimpressive leadership, the United Party has virtually no positiveof Its own snd has confined itself largely to criticism of Nationalist programs. There Ismall Labor Party, composed mostly ot intellectuals and English-speaking workers, which cooperates generally with the United Party.
The Torch Commando. Two years ago certain United Party leaders created the Torch Commandoevice to arouse and exploit popular alarm over the Nationalist, threat to constitutional democracy. It Is primarily un urban organization, well financedembership of. Its membership is mostly English-speaking, but includes an important minority of antl-Natlonaliit Afrikaners. Many thousand war veterans constitute the hard core of theA number of distinguished retired soldiers and civilians are members, and aof the permanent and reserve lorces are members or sympathizers. With organized branches in many towns, the Commando has concentrated on expanding its membership, holding rallies and protest meetings,anti-Nationalist sentiment, and getting its voters registered. Although its membership overlaps that of the United and Labor Parties and Its leaders work closely with the United Party, many Commando members arewith the cautious conservatism of the United Party leadership,
Issues Between the Parties. Therearge area of agreement between theand the white Opposition over national policies. Foreign policy Is not an Issue,that the Opposition flimly supports the Cornmonw-alth lie. Both groups favorexpansion and resent foreign criticism of the Union. Both are stronglyBoth standhite dominationarge measure of racial segregation, but the Opposition criticizes Nationalist racial policy asrovocative andImpracticable. It Is also strongly aroused against the Nationalists' grants to administrators of sweeping powers over civil liberties and the press without allowingto the courts.
The Issue which above all has inflamed relations between the Nationalists andhes arisen over the Government'sefforts to override legal andchecks in order to perpetuate itself in power. Last year the Government passed, as part of its segregation program, an act which transferred Colored voters from the common electoral rolls. Since the Coloreds regularly vote United Party, the effect of this act would be to insure Nationalist victoriesumber of marginal constituencies. The act.was declared invalid by the Supreme Court, on the grounds thathange in the "entrenched clauses" of the South Africa Act9 (the Unionwr>thirds majority of both houses of Parliament sitting together. Thethenecond act which estab-;ishes Parliament Itself as the highestbody empowered to pass on the validity of its own acta. This attempt to circumvent constitutional checks has resulted ingreater than at any time since the Boer War.
The Supreme Court will almost certainly rule In the near future that the second act Is also Invalid on the same grounds- Wcthat the Government will probably defy this ruling and proceed to transfer the
ored voters, unless it Is convinced thatourse would provoke civil war. Deflancc of the Supreme Court will raise tension tofor the Opposition has declared Itsto -defend the Constitution" against Nationalist "dictatorship" and to "meet force wltnhile the Nationalists, with equal passion, are determined to place the supremacy of Parliament beyondchecks and to carry out their
The next gen"ral election is expected in May orlthough it may be called as early as February. The election campaign will be even more heated than uual. The Nationalists, solidly supported In the rural areas and bolstered by such devicesedls-trictlng of constituencies and the prospective transfer of the Coloreds, will probably win5-year term. If the aged Malan retires or dies, his successor as Prime Minister will probably be the able and emotional extremist. Strydom. perhapshort interregnum under the moderate Havenga. Strydom. even more than Malan. would carry forwardNationalist policies.
Prospects for Civil War. All whites desire to avoid an armed conflict primarily for fear of Jeopardizing white control over the large non-white majority. In addition thealthough determined to carry out their program by one means or another, willtake care not to provoke an armedin which they would be opposed by half of the white population. Including most vet-crans and most of the regular militaryAlthough some hot-heads in the Torch Commando already advocate armedto what they rtgard as inationalist coup d'etat, we believe that the conservative leadership of the Opposition can and will restrain them, at least until theeral election has been held If theshould win that election, and if they should then take steps further to entrench themselves In power, the danger of armed reaction by the Torch Commando would be great. Even In that case, however, given the general fear of the consequences of civil war on white supremacy, we believe that theof both parties and Influential business Interests would avert themselves to avertonflict. However, because leaders of both parties wish to press their positions to the limit, short of civil war. and because they may miscalculate their ability to control their followers in innarnmabie situations, theof civil war cannot be excluded. 2fl. Should civil war occur, we believe that it would be prolonged and disorder would be widespread. The Nationalist Government could count on the loyal support ofouth African police, whose keyare Nationalists. The police serve as both local police and national gendarmerie; their morale, training, and efficiency areThe government could also rely on most of the Sklet Commando units,f which are organized throughoutembership totalinglmost entirely Afrikaners. Their mission is mainly to Insure internal security in their local areas. Though equipped with rifles, these units are untrained and haveinority cf the armed forces would also remain loyal to theThe Opposition forces would include most of the war veterans and youngerof the Torch Commando, as well as the majority of regular, reserve, and retiredpersonnel. Though virtually unarmed at present, the Torch Commandoormidable force. It couldcertainly acquire plenty of arms through lis numerous supporters in the services. It is already organized on military lines anddirected. Neither side would arm non-Europeans.
believe that. If civil war shouldOpposition wouldetter thanof overthrowing the Government:however, estimate subsequentIn the Union.
The Race Relations Problem
longer range threat to Southis the growing hostility of thepopulation toward the dominantThis hostility had beenyears before the Nationalists came to
power,he severe repression* by the NtUoneilsU have iharply stimulated the ominous trend in relations between the races. The desire to overthrow white domination is latent throughout the non-Europeanand certain adTances hate been made in the past few years toward organizing (or this rnirpose. Influenced by the equalitarian tenela of western Uberellam. by the political adTances of non-Europeans elsewhere, andimited extent by Communists, the leaders of urban non-European groups haresome capacity to organise unitedThe current aeries of deliberateof racial regulationsoint project ofand Native organisations. These orgaiuzaiions have also cooperated withbodies in resisting the Government's at* Uck on the Colored franchise. This passive resistance campaign is almost certainly an early steprogram to overturn white
enerally. bOwlW, the non-Europeans are disunited and as yet appear to be poorly onranlred. While existing intelligence on this subject is scanty, they appear to have no widely reeognlxed central leadership. Except among the small, educated elite, culturalare great between Colored. Native, and Indian; and even within each groupand enmities hamper the growth of non-white unity. Native organization isLocal or tribal leaders have their few hundreds or thousands of followers, but the masses are politically apathetic andabsorbed in day-today problems of mere existence. Tbe etutudes of the few educated native leaders are not typical of those of the majority of natives, and there is no evidence that they are effectively converting or even contacting most of those whom they claim to lead.
SO. For some years the non-Europeans'will be too few and too Inexperienced, their economic and arms resources too meager, and their unity and organization too weak for an effective nation-wide revolt. The knowledge that the Government would react harshly Is another deterrent. Local urban disorders may come earlier, but they will almostbe ruthlessly quelled. Even if theand Opposition were to fight an early coil war, the non-Europeans wouldcertainly be unable to exploit theeffectively.
Nevertheless, we believe that racewill continue to deteriorate, and will eventuallyerious challenge to white domination. The prospectiveof the harsh race policy will stimulate the non-white resistance movement, so that major disorders and widespread rebellionalmost certain In the long run. More moderate treatment would not alter non-white aspirations for equality, although such benefits as better housing and economicand more freedom of nsovement would alow the pace toward rebellion.
CommunUt Influence Tbe small South African Communist Party pubhely dissolved Itself In June IBM. shortly before thevoted to outlaw it Its membership was only,ard core ofctiveourth of the membership was white, and the bulk of the remainder were Indians, though Communism was spreading among the Coloreds. It made very slight progress among the Natives, although they had longajor target Forcedthe Party's infloence remains small. White workers will not tolerate Communist opposition to the color bar. Among non-European groups, the spread of Communism la hampered by the internal dissensions over tactics, lack of organisers, and the ignorance, conservatism, and distrust of the masses. Moreover, civil officials are alert to suppress Its influence.
However, ths Communistonger ran prospects among urban non-Europeans appear good. As non-European grievances multiply under repressive Natloriaust policies, increasing racial tension and sporadic violence should earpand the oprrirtuniuesumber of the top non-European leaders are Communists. The NaUonalist actions against the Coloreds will probably turn more of them to theeservoir of educated party workers. Though Communist progress will not be swift
among tbe mess of tbe Natives, tbemay bra greater success In acquiring positions of leadership among the Native organisation*
External Effects of rYospectrw DovelopTienh
epression of the non-Europeans In the Union Is inevitably deepening the suspicions end dislike of whiles by non-whites elsewhere In Africa, particularly In British Central and East Africa, end thus contributing tothere. The contlnuauon of Nationalist racial policies will confirm the belief of the non-European intelligentsia In the Britishthat similar measures would be likely In their own areas If the British Colonial Office rehnqulabed control. The Nationalists' racial measures, well-advertised in those areas, are helping to undermine Britain's efforts toasis for racial partnership in Its colonies.
rospective developments in the Union will almost certainly further isolate the Unionajority of UN members. Moreover, failure of the US and UK toirm stand in the UN against South Africa would expose them to charges of race prejudice and support for colonial lam, and would probably create another divisive issue between the Western and Asian powers. If the US and UKtand against the Union, it would coatignificant measure of South African
So. Tbe Internal tensions In tbe Unionwill not in the short run have any greatly adverse efleca on the flow of strategicto the US and UK. All whit* South Africans are interested in the maintenance and expansion of commerce. However, the Internal political situation will probablyattention and energies from existingand transport problems, andof the materials will probably fall short of US and UK expectations. In the longer run, whendal tensions erupt Into widespread disorders, the outflow of strategic material* will be hampered or even halted.
Probable Foreign Policies
hough many In tbe Nationalist Party are disposed toward Isolationism. South Africa's desire for US-UK markets and capital. Its need for allies, and Its fear of Communism will lead the government to continue to cooperate with the Western Powers.
3s. The Nationalist Government currentlyCommonweal tb membership asuseful. However, the old Afrikaner aim of an independent republic, the diametric difference between Britain's racial policy In Africa and that of the Union. Britain'sopposition to the Union's expansionist aspirations, and South African Irritations with India will probably lead in time toof the Commonwealth tie by arelationship with the UK As anstep the Union may declareike India) while remaining In the Commonwealth.
Nationalists denounce the UNand meddlesome; they may carrythreat to withdraw if the UNcriticisms of the Union's racial policy.
Africans have long aimed toUnion's rule and Influence In Africa.Government has urged the UKthe British protectorates ofand Swaziland. Almosthowever, this aspiration will befor the foreseeable future byopposition. The Nationalists alsorelations with the white settlersand East Africa and may haveencouraged Afrikaner emigrationRhodesia. They hope withina generation to absorb the Rhodeslaa.
ince virtually all whites are anU-Soviet and since both major parties would almost certainly desire to help defend Africa, the Unionmidtrong effort to send forces to the Middle East as soon as possible In event of general war. On the other hand, the Nationalist Government will probably not in peacetime Improvethe effectiveness of its armed forces. We therefore believe that under presentthe Union will probably remain for at
four rears unable toolldivuico for Middle East defente within three months after tbe outbreak of war. If war should break out now. South Africa could not provide the division In less than one year, even with prompt, substantial, outsideaid. Moreover, rising racial tension will Increase manpowv- and equipmentto Insure internal security; and. if war should break out while the controversytbe white groups remains intense,for foreign service would probably be handicapped by the preference of men to remain at heme and support the interests of their group.
s an ally In the event of war. South Africa would be available to the Westase.on-belligerentan unlikely status in event of warcale sufficient to make Its faculties important to the Westthe Union could probably be persuaded to cooperate by economic Inducements oron the part of the UK and US.