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(page 8)
Post '76 Reform
Following the violent protests of 1976, the government adopted a policy that combined repression and reform. The decision to impose Afrikaans as the language of education was reversed, and instead government announced the provision of free education, textbooks and larger salaries for teachers. B.J. Vorster, the prime minister, agreed that African participation was needed in township government.

In 1978, P.W. Botha became prime minister and proceeded with the apartheid blueprint of 'homelands' and influx control, but promised reform and a new constitution. As domestic and international pressure increased, Botha relaxed aspects of 'petty apartheid' such as the strict segregation of sport, thereby hoping to avoid international sanctions.

After 1976, apartheid in Cape Town's sporting and leisure activities was no longer strictly enforced. Hotels, restaurants and theatres, could apply for 'international' status enabling them to admit anyone who could pay.

In 1977, the Cape Town bus service abandoned segregation policies, hearing that the government would not protest to this if it was done discreetly. At the same time, Cape Town City Council opened its beaches to all, although neighbouring councils maintained segregation policies well into the 1980s.

Although petty apartheid was on the wane, segregation of residential locations and schooling remained firmly in place throughout the 1980s. The long-awaited new 'tricameral' constitution of 1983 gave coloureds and Asians representation in the parliamentary system, but excluded blacks and ensured continued white supremacy. Such tokenism created more anger and resentment.

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Heritage Sections
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History · Society
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In this period of Cape History:



Petty Apartheid



The Silent Years

Influx Controls

1976 Uprising

Post '76 Reform


Turning Tide

Mass Action

Bibliography & Contacts


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