Volkstaat (Afrikaans for "People's state") is a proposal for the establishment of a homeland for Afrikaners. Outside a possible use of force, the South African Constitution and International Legislation present certain possibilities for the establishment of such a state. The South African regime declared that they would not support a Volkstaat, but "would do everything they could to ensure the protection of the Afrikaner language and culture". What a fine job they are doing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How the Volkstaat lost support

Here are the results of two polls take more than a decade ago. It indicates that while the idea of a volkstaat had a lot of support in the old South Africa, it dwindled rapidly in the euphoria of Nelson Mandela's rainbow nation. That euphoria has turned disillusionment since. I wonder what the results of such a poll would be today.

Respondents were asked in May 1996:"How do you feel about demarcating an area for Afrikaners and other white South Africans in which they may enjoy self determination? Do you support the idea of a Volkstaat?" (Table 6.1). This replicated a question posed in July 1993 by an HSRC survey (Schlemmer: 1994).

Reactions of white South Africans to the idea of a Volksstaat

July 1993 (HSRC) May 1996 (CSVR)
Would move there 18% 9%
Support the idea 29% 22%
Do not support the idea 34% 66%
Don't know 19% 2%

100% 100%

The report made the following conclusions. With a decade's worth of hindsight, this is fascinating.

Two out of three respondents said that they were against the idea of a Volkstaat in CSVR survey, which was significantly more than in July 1993, suggesting that support for the Volkstaat has dropped during this time. The decline in support, though, may be due to the fact that respondents of right-wing political orientation who are the strongest supporters of a Volkstaat, were underrepresented in the survey. Declining support may also be due to the realisation that after the April 1994 elections life has continued. The chaos and bloodshed that right-wing parties had forecast so melodramatically, in the event of a "terrorist organisation" coming to power, has not materialised.

Those who in 1996 said that they would consider moving to a Volkstaat are mainly Afrikaans speaking males, who are supporters of the Conservative Party or Afrikaner Freedom Front, hold racist views (24%; slightly racist: 6%, non racist: 0%) and are not content with the new democratic South Africa.



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