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'SA Indians prefer apartheid'

September 29, 2004 18:37 IST
Despite their support for the ruling African National Congress, more Indians than whites in South Africa were unhappy with the present dispensation and prefer the former apartheid regime to the present democratic state, a survey by ANC has revealed.

The survey, conducted in the Guateng region (which has an Indian population of over 3,00,000) revealed that 37 per cent of Indian respondents replied in the affirmative when asked whether they prefer going back to the apartheid regime compared to 19 per cent of whites who made the same choice.

The finding of the survey was used to draft a document entitled "Understanding Guanteng's Changing Economic, Social and Political Landscape" to promote a debate among members of the ANC and its alliance partners about the changing composition and character of the people of the province, ANC leader and Premier of Guateng, Mbhazima Shilowa said.

The survey, aimed at "understanding the changing economic, social and political landscape," was carried out in preparation for the party's national conference in November.

The document has made the ANC deduce that the "skepticism" of the Indian and coloured communities towards the government was due to the perception that before they were "not white enough and now they are not black enough."

This perception was strong among the communities despite the fact that they strongly supported the ANC in the general elections in April, Shilowa said. The document also revealed that several similar surveys showed that Indian respondents appeared more pessimistic about the government than whites did.

This has prompted the ANC to pay more attention to the Indian and coloured communities than they had done earlier, Shilowa said.

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