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TITLE:  SOUTH AFRICA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                          
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994

                  SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa underwent sweeping political change during 1993.  
In December the Transitional Executive Council (TEC), a 
multiparty, multiracial body, was given broad administrative 
and monitoring powers in the period leading up to the April 
1994 elections--the first elections in South Africa open to all 
citizens regardless of race.  The implementation of the TEC 
marked the first time in South African history that the black 
majority (75.5 percent) participated in the official political 
process.  Nevertheless, through most of the year South Africa 
continued to be governed by a system that kept virtually all 
real power in the hands of the white minority (13 percent of 
the population).  The National Party, in power since 1948 and 
currently led by State President de Klerk, continued to rule 
the country.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Conservative Party (CP), 
and several other conservative groups suspended their further 
participation in the negotiations process as a result of the 
decision to hold the national election next April 27.  
Subsequently, the remaining parties reached agreement on 
establishing, in addition to the TEC, independent bodies to run 
the election and regulate state-controlled media in the 
pre-election period.

In December the Parliament ratified an interim constitution and 
bill of rights which for the first time guarantee all South 
Africans such rights as universal suffrage, equal protection 
under the law, and freedom of speech, assembly, association, 
and religion.  The constitution is to be enacted by 
proclamation on April 27, 1994; provision has been made to 
enable earlier implementation of certain portions of the 
constitution and bill of rights, but these steps had not been 
taken by year's end.

The interim constitution also provides for the dismantling of 
the homelands system, but at the end of the year the 10 
homelands were still in place.  The homelands are heavily 
subsidized by the Government, some are fragmented parcels of 
territory in impoverished rural areas, and all are 
agriculturally backward areas without the infrastructure needed 
for development.  Of the four so-called independent homelands 
(collectively known as the TBVC states), which only the South 
African Government recognized as sovereign, Transkei, Ciskei, 
and Venda are ruled by military governments, while 
Bophuthatswana is governed as a one-party state.  Authorities 
in Bophuthatswana and Ciskei, in particular, continued to 
suppress free political activity, especially that of the 
African National Congress (ANC).  The six so-called 
self-governing homelands are Gazankulu, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, 
KwaZulu, Lebowa, and Qwaqwa.  According to 1990 census data, 
the homelands, which comprise 13 percent of the country's 
territory, are home to 33 percent of South Africa's black 

The Government is backed by a powerful security establishment.  
The South African Defense Force (SADF) has about 65,000 active 
duty personnel, consisting of 25,000 white conscripts and 
40,000 permanent force personnel, approximately two-thirds of 
whom are black, Asian, or "coloured."   Additionally, the armed 
forces of the so-called independent homelands, which are 
expected to be absorbed into the new national defense force, 
number approximately 9,800.  The reserve forces, which form the 
bulk of available military manpower in South Africa, are all 
white and consist of a citizen force of 180,000 and 155,000 
reservists.  The multiracial South African Police (SAP) numbers 
112,000 and is 40 percent white.  The officer corps in both the 
SADF and the SAP is overwhelmingly white.  The SADF assisted 
the police in patrolling the so-called unrest areas and 
continued to be active in responding to the heightened violence 
in Natal and the Transvaal.  Members of the SADF and the SAP 
were responsible for human rights abuses during the year.  The 
Internal Stability Unit, a part of the SAP, has been 
discredited by its heavy-handed tactics.  The homelands 
security forces continued to be funded by the South African 
Government and were run largely by SAP and SADF members 
seconded by the Government.

Some opposition groups and human rights organizations continued 
to allege that a "third force," made up of rogue security force 
members, engaged in or orchestrated various violent incidents 
to upset the political transition.  While credible evidence 
existed of individuals within the security forces fomenting 
violence, there was no evidence of a widespread, high-level 
conspiracy within the security forces to undertake such 
activities.  In December the Commission of Inquiry Regarding 
the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation, also known 
as the Goldstone Commission, found "credible evidence" that a 
five-man hit squad was responsible for the deaths in Natal of 
ANC members as well as supporters of the IFP and other 
organizations.  The three men arrested in the case were former 
members of the KwaZulu police and had received training from 
the SADF.  Further arrests were expected at the end of 1993.

Several paramilitary organizations and homelands security 
forces outside the central Government were accused credibly of 
human rights abuses, including targeting political opponents 
for elimination and carrying out extrajudicial killings.  The 
KwaZulu Police were unequivocally charged by the Goldstone 
Commission of operating a hit squad specifically targeting IFP 
opponents.  The Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA), the 
armed wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), claimed 
responsibility for attacks on police and civilian targets.  The 
Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) expressed determination to 
defend Afrikaners against "black domination."  Although 
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC, suspended 
its armed struggle, some of its operatives, particularly in 
Natal, have been credibly accused of targeting political 

South Africa has a well-developed industrial economy based on 
mining and manufacturing and smaller, but important, sectors 
based on agriculture and services.  It has a mixed economy, 
with substantial government intervention and a number of 
state-owned enterprises existing jointly with a strong private 
sector.  A chief characteristic of the private sector is the 
high concentration of ownership by a small group of integrated 
conglomerate structures.

Although South Africa's deepest and most protracted recession 
since the 1930's appeared to have bottomed out in early 1993, 
there has been no net increase in jobs in the productive 
sectors in more than a decade, and per capita income among all 
races has fallen.  Unemployment in the formal sector is 
approximately 40 percent.  According to government statistics, 
nearly half of all employable blacks are either unemployed or 
work in the informal sector; 350,000 new job seekers of all 
races were expected to enter the job market during the year.  
Average per capita income in the homelands was lower than in 
South Africa proper.  Many of the employable residents living 
in the homelands typically migrate or commute to more 
prosperous areas of the country in search of work.

While the Government has increased spending on blacks in recent 
years, major economic and social reform will be required to 
reduce income disparities and to redress the socioeconomic 
legacies of apartheid in such areas as education, housing, and 
health care.  Human rights groups estimate that 7.5 million 
blacks have no permanent shelter.

Certain areas in South Africa are awash in violence, much of it 
criminally motivated.  Political violence, a component of the 
overall violence continued at a high level in 1993.  According 
to the Human Rights Commission (HRC), 4,364 people died from 
politically related violence during the year.  Most observers 
agreed that all parties, including the ANC, the IFP, and 
government security forces bear some measure of responsibility 
for the continuing pattern of violence, despite the 1991 
National Peace Accord signed by State President de Klerk, ANC 
President Mandela, IFP Chief Minister Buthelezi, and 23 others.

Positive developments in the area of worker rights continued in 
1993, including the passage in September of legislation to 
expand the legal rights of agricultural and domestic workers.  
Bills to promote the equality of men and women and to protect 
women against violence from their spouses were also enacted.


Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

Certain areas in South Africa are awash in violence, much of it 
criminally motivated.  Political violence, a component of the 
overall violence in South Africa, continued at a high level in 
1993; the HRC documented 4,364 politically related deaths 
during the year.  The HRC reported that over 250 police and 
security personnel lost their lives in political violence 
during the year; this was a record high.  A major cause of 
political killings was violent confrontations between ANC and 
IFP followers.  Another important cause of deaths was the 
series of apparently random attacks by unknown terrorists 
intent on disrupting South Africa's movement toward nonracial 
democracy by aggravating tensions between the ANC and IFP.  
Evidence of acts of political violence by individuals attached 
to the military, police, and homelands police continued to 
emerge in 1993.  Human rights organizations alleged that in 
some cases these individuals were part of a conspiracy--the 
so-called third force--to disrupt the political transition.  A 
preliminary report of the Goldstone Commission concluded that 
the PAC's military wing, APLA, may have used Transkei as a 
springboard for attacks against members of the police, the 
military, and white civilians in general.  Other groups which 
contributed to the high level of violence and extrajudicial 
killings included rightwing organizations, local self-defense 
units (SDU's), criminal gangs which claimed affiliation with 
political parties, and ill-disciplined labor strike enforcers.

The ANC-IFP conflict often took the form of fighting between 
hostel residents, usually but not always affiliated with the 
IFP, and residents of nearby townships and informal 
settlements, frequently identified with the ANC.  Black South 
Africans of all ages, gender, political affiliation, and ethnic 
grouping were affected.  Train and taxi commuters, passersby, 
and people in their own homes were victims of violent attack.

Many township youths, some with affiliation to the MK or South 
African Communist Party (SACP), formed armed SDU's, purportedly 
to protect residents from outside attack.  In fact, many SDU's 
have been accused of vigilante-style murders of suspected 
"informers" or IFP sympathizers, acts of intimidation, such as 
demands for "protection" money from local shopkeepers, and 
common crimes such as car theft.  ANC leader Chris Hani said 
shortly before his death that the ANC was unable to control 
certain SDU's that had branched into criminal activities.

KwaZulu in Natal Province also experienced continuous high 
levels of violence.  Both IFP and ANC officials have made 
credible allegations that their supporters were deliberately 
targeted by the other party for assassination, as cycles of 
revenge killings continued.  According to the Independent Board 
of Inquiry, 27 ANC officials were killed in 1993, while 12 IFP 
officials were killed during the year.

Chris Hani was assassinated by a white rightwing zealot in 
April.  In October the Rand Supreme Court sentenced to death 
the gunman and one accomplice, who was a leader in the CP.  A 
trial was to take place against another defendant for his role 
in an alleged plot to assassinate SACP chairman Joe Slovo, 
though the charges were subsequently dropped.  In July police 
officers and bodyguards for ANC Deputy President Walter Sisulu 
clashed, resulting in the death of an ANC bodyguard.  
Authorities investigating the incident reported the death to be 

On December 13, in a gruesome racist attack in Randfontein, 
several white men in camouflage uniform forced two cars off the 
road and shot their black occupants, several of whom were 
children, killing three and injuring four.

Whites in South Africa were also the victims of violent 
attack.  In July masked gunmen shot and threw grenades at a 
congregation attending services in St. James Church in Cape 
Town, killing 11 and injuring over 50.  Other whites were slain 
in attacks on tour buses and private cars.  Patrons of bars and 
clubs were attacked in several incidents, including a highly 
publicized December incident in which masked gunmen attacked a 
Cape Town pub, killing four people.  Although in many instances 
responsibility for these attacks remained unclear, individuals 
purporting to speak for APLA, the PAC's military wing, claimed 
responsibility for some of them.

Government investigations of violent deaths in black areas have 
been inadequate.  ANC officials noted the disparity between the 
hundreds of personnel devoted to round up black activists 
suspected in the St. James Church massacre and the resources 
deployed a week earlier when 33 people were killed in a violent 
rampage in Tembisa Township in the Witwatersrand.

In late 1992, President de Klerk directed Lieutenant General 
Pierre Steyn to investigate allegations of SADF involvement in 
a destabilization campaign against the ANC and MK.  Steyn 
reportedly presented his findings to the Government during the 
year, but no report was made public.

While credible evidence existed of individuals within the 
security forces fomenting violence, there was no evidence of a 
widespread, high-level conspiracy within the security forces to 
undertake such activities.

In October various incidents occurred that implicated members 
of the SAP in extrajudicial killings.  In one incident 
Wellington Mbili, a member of MK, the ANC's military wing, died 
in police custody.  Police claimed they shot Mbili in self 
defense, but eyewitnesses said Mbili was handcuffed in SAP 
custody following his apprehension.

According to the HRC, the number of deaths in detention 
decreased from 123 in 1992 to 36 in 1993.  The HRC said that 
such figures are based on media reports, because the police 
have been unforthcoming to the HRC.  The decline in numbers may 
be due in part to greater media scrutiny and to an agreement 
permitting officials of the International Committee of the Red 
Cross (ICRC) to make unannounced visits to detainees in police 
stations throughout South Africa.  Under the agreement, ICRC 
delegates can meet detainees alone, make unannounced followup 
visits and pass their findings to higher governmental 
officials.  However, deaths continued to occur under highly 
suspicious circumstances (see also Section 1.c.).

On April 14, Sam Tambane, secretary of the ANC's Soweto branch, 
and three others were killed when police opened fire on a crowd 
protesting the assassination of ANC leader Chris Hani.  
Independent witnesses denied police claims that they acted in 
self defense.  The Government announced an investigation into 
the incident.

In February Michael Thithi, who claimed he was assaulted by 
police during an interrogation, also reportedly witnessed the 
beating death of his coaccused, Johannes Malekek Matsubukane, 
during police interrogation.

Inquests conducted in 1993 concerning the deaths of 
antiapartheid activists during the 1980's revealed that 
operatives carried out political killings on the orders of 
high-ranking government officials.

In December the Goldstone Commission released credible 
evidence, based on an investigation conducted by the KwaZulu 
Police Commissioner, that a number of hit squads had been 
operating in Natal.  The three men arrested in the case were 
former members of the KwaZulu police and had received training 
from the SADF.  Further arrests were expected at the end of 
1993.  Goldstone reported the high "probability" that the hit 
squad had been responsible for the murder of nine ANC members, 
supporters of the IFP, and others.  Violence in Esikhawini in 
northern Natal decreased dramatically following the arrest of 
the KZP officers implicated in the hit squad investigation.

In a separate incident allegedly involving KwaZulu Police 
attacks on ANC supporters, the ANC claimed some of its 
supporters in Khojane village were killed in September by 
attackers from a nearby IFP/KwaZulu government military 
training camps.  Information about such training camps is often 
shrouded in some mystery.  For example, in September, after the 
press reported on an alleged KwaZulu training camp in Umfolozi 
Game reserve, IFP Chief Minister Buthelezi confirmed that the 
KwaZulu Parliament had established a camp to train SDU's for 
Zulu protection.

In May the Ciskei Council of State granted unconditional 
indemnity from prosecution to all members of the Ciskei Defense 
Force (CDF) involved in the 1992 Bisho massacre, in which CDF 
troops killed 29 and injured hundreds of ANC marchers.  In 
October Oupa Gqozo, the homeland's military leader, was cleared 
of charges that he murdered Charles Sebe, the former commander 
of the CDF in 1991.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no known cases of antigovernment activists 
disappearing during 1993.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

The Government has established guidelines and regulations 
prohibiting torture of detainees.  Any cases of torture were 
violations of government regulations.  Nevertheless, court 
testimony and sworn affidavits continued to allege that members 
of the SAP and homelands police mistreated detainees severely, 
though the incidence of such violations continued to decline.  
The HRC reported allegations of beatings, electric shock, and 
partial suffocation.

Michael Thithi reported being assaulted by police during an 
interrogation.  A district surgeon reportedly found no signs of 
the assault, but after Thithi disputed that report, another 
court-ordered examination indicated that he had indeed been 
beaten.  In February, three ANC members charged with a 1992 
murder alleged that they were severely beaten while in custody 
of the Ciskei security police.  The men were allegedly denied 
medical attention after the assault.  The ANC also alleged that 
Robert Manope was assaulted by the Boputhatswana police after 
being summoned to the Mogwase station and accused of recruiting 
for the ANC.  These allegations were backed with a medical 
report indicating that Manope suffered extensive bruising over 
most of his body.

Also according to HRC data, an MK member was assaulted and 
tortured in a Soweto police station on May 21.  She alleged 
being hit with a rifle and pistol butts and subjected to 
electric shock.  In May a PAC member alleged being beaten and 
threatened with indecent assault while undergoing interrogation 
at a Durban police station.  In August Sibusiso Zulu, accused 
of murder in the March 1993 "Table Mountain Massacre" in which 
six schoolchildren were slain, told the court that he was 
assaulted by policemen during interrogation in an effort to 
extract a confession from him.

On August 24, the Rand Supreme Court granted the ANC an interim 
order interdicting the Ministers of Defense and Law and Order, 
the heads of Modderbee and Boksburg prisons, and 8 East Rand 
police station commanders and the forces under their commands 
from assaulting, abusing, threatening, or ill-treating 123 
detainees under their custody.  The court action followed 
allegations that a number of East Rand detainees had been 
assaulted while in custody.

The ICRC has access to all detainees in South African and 
homeland prisons and can report substandard prison conditions 
to authorities.

In August the Motsuenyane Commission, an ANC-appointed body, 
released results of its investigation of human rights abuses in 
ANC camps during the organization's years of exile.  The report 
cited numerous instances of murder, torture, beatings, solitary 
confinement, and imprisonment without trial and named 
individuals directly and indirectly involved in the abuses, 
some of whom are now high-ranking ANC officials.  The ANC 
accepted the conclusions of the report and made a public 
apology, but did not respond to nor provide an accounting of 
all those alleged to have disappeared or been mistreated.  Many 
observers criticized the ANC for not punishing the perpetrators 
or compensating the victims.  The ANC called for the 
establishment of a truth commission to investigate human rights 
abuses across the political spectrum and to arrange for victim 
compensation.  By the end of 1993, no such commission was 

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

In November the multiparty negotiating council agreed to repeal 
the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Internal Security Act (ISA) 
--laws permitting authorities to detain individuals without 
charge.  As of year's end, the necessary legislation was 
approved but had not yet gone into effect.

The PSA authorized warrantless searches and detentions for up 
to 30 days in order to combat or prevent public disturbance, 
disorder, riot, or public violence, or in order to maintain or 
restore public order in unrest areas.  Several human rights 
organizations criticized the Government for invoking the PSA 
excessively in order to declare unrest areas.  At the end of 
the year, 15 magisterial districts remained unrest areas under 
the PSA.

The ISA allowed the police to detain and interrogate persons 
suspected of terrorism or subversion or of withholding 
information about such crimes for a period up to 10 days 
without arrest; continued incarceration required judicial 
approval.  A detainee did not have an automatic right to legal 
counsel during the first 10 days of detention and the right to 
legal advice was limited to the preparation of opposition to an 
application by the authorities extending the detention period.  
The ISA permitted 14 days of preventive detention.

The HRC reported that during 1993 a total of 622 people were 
detained under the PSA or ISA.  According to Lawyers for Human 
Rights (LHR), the police generally do not block access to such 

According to the HRC, detentions in most of the so-called 
independent homelands were down sharply.  The HRC reported no 
detentions in Transkei, Ciskei, or Venda during 1993.  
Bophuthatswana, however, detained 153 people under security 
legislation during 1993.

In many cities, street children were arrested and held in adult 
jails or prisons while awaiting trial.  While some were 
arrested on criminal charges, many were arrested for such petty 
offenses as loitering.  These children were often held in 
overcrowded cells, and sometimes suffered physical or sexual 
abuse.  Most jails and prisons have no educational or 
counseling facilities.

There were no reported cases of exile.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

Judicial independence continued to strengthen in South Africa 
in 1993, as it had in recent years.  Allegations of political 
interference with the courts are few and declining.  Moreover, 
during 1993 the South African bench took up a number of cases, 
such as the Webster and Goniwe inquests, which further exposed 
abuses during the apartheid era.  The degree of politicization 
in judicial selection appears to be diminishing.  Members of 
the Constitutional Court, which will come into effect in 1994 
as the supreme judicial body on all constitutional matters, 
including the bill of rights, will be appointed by a process 
that further attenuates the influence of political parties.

Persons charged with common crimes are generally presumed 
innocent until proven guilty, but Parliament has modified the 
general presumption of innocence for some security offenses.  
Both security-related and common criminal cases are tried in 
civilian courts.

Although defendants in criminal cases may retain legal counsel, 
a 1991 study found that 71 percent of those convicted in 
ordinary criminal cases had no representation.  A pilot public 
defender's program, begun in Johannesburg in 1991, has been 
highly successful.  Courts usually appoint counsel for capital 
cases when the defendant cannot afford a lawyer.

Intimidation of participants in the legal process undermined 
the administration of justice.  For example, several witnesses 
to the murder of American Amy Biehl, who were prepared to 
testify against her suspected murderers, were threatened and 
intimidated from testifying, forcing the prosecution to drop 
charges against several of the accused.

The judiciary is headed by the Appellate Division (court of 
appeals) of the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein and six regional 
supreme courts.  Only 1 of the 142 judges of the appellate 
division and the regional supreme courts is not white.  Judges, 
appointed by the State President, serve until age 70 and may 
only be removed through impeachment by Parliament.  By 
tradition, judges of the appellate division and the supreme 
courts are chosen from the senior ranks of the elite corps of 
South African Supreme Court Practitioners (advocates).  
According to the Ministry of Justice, only six nonwhite senior 
advocates are practicing at the bar.  The power of the 
judiciary at all levels continues to be circumscribed by the 
principle of parliamentary sovereignty, under which judges 
possess no authority to alter, strike down, or refuse to 
enforce laws of Parliament.

Serious offenses, including capital crimes, are tried in the 
supreme courts.  Lesser offenses are heard by magistrates, 
career employees of the executive branch civil service.  The 
presiding judge or magistrate determines guilt or innocence.  
Juries were abolished in 1969.

Prospects for nonwhite law school graduates to receive 
"Articles of Clerkship," which qualify them for admittance to 
the bar, were enhanced considerably.  New routes of entry into 
the profession are open, including credit for work at offices 
of public defenders, university law clinics, and similar 
community-based entities that offer legal assistance to 
indigent clients.

So-called people's courts, which emerged in part due to the 
black community's distrust of the existing court system, 
continued to operate sporadically.  These tribunals pass 
"judgment" on criminal charges and carry out "sentences."  The 
people's courts are headed by mostly self-appointed "community 
leaders" who often mete out "justice" based on rumors arising 
from political or personal rivalries.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

Although the security forces retained the capacity and the 
formal legal authority to engage in domestic surveillance 
activities including the use of informers, the opening of mail, 
and the monitoring of telephone calls, the dramatically changed 
political environment diminished their willingness to engage in 
these activities.  This is not true of the local authorities in 
Bophuthatswana and Ciskei, who continued to monitor the 
political activities of the citizenry.

With the repeal of the PSA, police will no longer have broad 
authority to conduct searches and seizures without warrants in 
designated unrest areas.  Even outside of unrest areas, there 
has been an unequal application of the Law of Criminal 
Procedure.  White citizens have generally enjoyed protection 
from unreasonable searches and seizures; black citizens have 
usually not.

The legacy of apartheid has left vast numbers of South Africans 
landless; more than 8 million people live in squatter camps.  
Conflict continues between those who currently own land and 
those who contend that the land was forcibly taken from 
previous occupants.  The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act 
gives landowners and local governments the authority to remove 
black populations from "white" areas.  Despite central 
government authorities' increased tolerance of squatter 
settlements, some local authorities continue to pressure 
squatters to move.  The problem of forced relocation of 
residents of informal settlements is particularly pronounced in 
rural areas where land owners are able to exploit the 
provisions of the Act.

In Bophuthatswana conflicts between authorities and squatters 
continued to deprive many residents of their homes.  In 
February Bophuthatswana authorities demolished an informal 
settlement on disputed land in Marokolong without securing a 
court order or a legal judgment on the dispute.  At least 100 
people were rendered homeless as a result.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedoms of speech and press are respected in practice.  Both 
the mainstream and the so-called alternate press kept the 
public well informed and criticized both the Government and the 

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), once seen as 
the Government's mouthpiece, underwent profound changes.  A new 
board of directors with a black woman as head was appointed.  
In September Parliament passed legislation to create the 
Independent Broadcasting Authority with power to license new 
and privately owned broadcast outlets.  A second bill 
established the Independent Media Commission to monitor the 
media coverage of the political campaign and to seek to ensure 
a level playing field for all parties in the months leading up 
to the April 1994 election.  Radio news reporting, in 
particular that of privately owned Radio 702, was reasonably 

Although rarely invoked, considerable legislation permitting 
the Government to restrict and penalize the press remained on 
the books.  Under the Criminal Procedure Act the Government 
subpoenaed a journalist from an Afrikaans-language newspaper 
who refused to answer questions concerning an article he wrote 
reporting remarks made by a black youth leader at an open 
rally.  The journalist received a 1-year prison sentence.  The 
sentence was under appeal at year's end.

Laws restricting the publication of information about the SAP, 
SADF, petroleum issues, and prisons and mental institutions 
remained on the books.  The ISA allowed the Minister of Law and 
Order to ban organizations and their publications.  
Prohibitions against the publication of such materials as 
pornographic material are in effect.

Opposition groups, and especially militant youths, continued to 
harass and attack members of the press despite calls from 
leaders for them to exercise restraint.  In one incident, an 
SABC cameraman was murdered by a gang of youths while covering 
a story in Sharpeville, near Johannesburg.  The result has been 
de facto hindrance of the press from covering developments in 
certain volatile areas.

There are no official restrictions on academic freedom.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Political parties and organizations enjoy broad freedoms of 
assembly and association.  While the ISA gave the Minister of 
Law and Order authority to ban political gatherings in order to 
maintain public order, he has not used that authority in over 2 
years.  He did, however, frequently invoke his authority to 
declare certain areas "unrest areas."  All demonstrations or 
public gatherings in an unrest area had to be approved by the 
area police commissioner.  Although decisions to prohibit an 
event could be appealed to the courts, such appeals were never 
successful.  In some cases, authorities could deny permission 
for a demonstration outside unrest areas if it was felt that 
the event would threaten life or property.

In some of the homelands, local officials continued to obstruct 
the right of peaceful assembly.  Opposition political groups in 
Bophuthatswana were routinely denied permission to meet or 
organize and their "illegal" gatherings were forcibly 
dispersed.  Among the so-called self-governing homelands, 
KwaZulu, the only one with its own security force, has a 
particularly poor record.  Local KwaZulu officials often used 
their authority to hamper severely political activity by groups 
other than the IFP and to harass non-IFP leaders.  There were 
many credible accounts of death threats to intimidate political 
activity.  For example, residents of Gerzinsila and Nyanini 
Townships in Natal were forced to attend an IFP rally and told 
that those absent from future rallies would be killed.  In 
addition, the climate of violence existing in many parts of 
KwaZulu has resulted in so-called no-go areas where in some 
cases ANC and in other cases IFP leaders cannot organize 
meetings without risk to their lives.  Such no-go areas also 
exist in some urban townships.  ANC and IFP sympathizers shared 
culpability for this.

Many white landowners, fearing their workers might be 
influenced by "radical" ideas of worker rights and political 
empowerment, violently opposed efforts by the ANC and other 
predominantly black political groups to hold public gatherings, 
effectively preventing these groups from organizing.  
Similarly, certain black groups have disrupted township 
gatherings organized by representatives of predominantly white 
political parties, such as the National Party and Democratic 
Party.  For safety reasons, the SAP urged whites to stay away 
from some townships altogether.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

There are no restrictions on the expression and practice of 
religious belief, nor on proselytizing.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

South Africans have no restrictions on movement throughout 
their country and are free to travel overseas, emigrate, or 
repatriate.  Those choosing to emigrate, however, are limited 
in the amount of money they can take out of South Africa.

The Government and private monitoring groups estimated that as 
many as 500,000 Mozambicans, displaced by civil unrest or 
economic hardship, were in South Africa.  Approximately half 
the Mozambicans in South Africa have settled in border transit 
camps in the homelands of KaNgwane and Gazankulu, the only 
places in South Africa where Mozambican refugees have enjoyed 
some measure of protection.  Under the Admission of Persons 
Act, they are allowed to stay there temporarily because of 
their ethnic ties with homeland residents.  Although some of 
these refugees have lived in the homelands since 1986, refugee 
officials reported that some Mozambicans were slowly returning 
to their country as the peace process continued to hold there.

In August the Government and United Nations High Commissioner 
for Refugees (UNHCR) signed a long-negotiated agreement 
allowing the UNHCR to assist refugees arriving in South 
Africa.  Until then, the ICRC and other nongovernmental 
organizations housed and cared for the refugees.  In October 
the UNHCR and the Governments of South Africa and Mozambique 
signed a tripartite agreement establishing a joint commission 
and procedures for handling the organized, voluntary 
repatriation of Mozambican refugees.  Although the KaNgwane and 
Gazankulu authorities did not participate in the negotiations 
leading to the September and October agreements, they were kept 
informed and welcomed these developments.

Despite these developments, involuntary repatriation of 
Mozambicans from South Africa continued.  Those Mozambicans 
settling outside KaNgwane and Gazankulu are considered illegal 
aliens under the Aliens Control Act.  According to the Ministry 
of Home Affairs, during 1993 the Government deported 80,261 
illegal Mozambicans and 15,680 aliens from other (mostly 
southern African) countries.

Despite the South Africa-UNHCR memorandum of understanding, the 
tripartite agreement, and periodic representations on human 
rights abuses, an electrified fence on the border between South 
Africa and Mozambique remained in place as a deterrent measure.

The Government extended through 1993 its 1991 mandate to the 
UNHCR to monitor the repatriation of South African exiles, most 
of whom were affiliated in some way with antiapartheid 
organizations while in exile.  An estimated 7,000 exiles had 
returned to South Africa prior to the 1991 agreement.  As of 
year's end, a further 10,836 persons had been cleared to return 
under UNHCR auspices.  The number of exiles who have actually 
returned through the end of 1993 was 7,303.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

South Africa underwent sweeping political change during 1993.  
In December the Transitional Executive Council (TEC), a 
multiparty, multiracial body, was given broad administrative 
and monitoring powers in the period leading up to the April 
1994 elections--the first elections in South Africa open to all 
citizens regardless of race.  The implementation of the TEC 
marked the first time in South African history that the black 
majority (75.5 percent) participated in the official political 

Nevertheless, prior to establishment of the TEC, South Africa 
continued to be governed by a system that kept virtually all 
real power in the hands of the white minority (13 percent of 
the population), while the black majority was denied any 
meaningful share of power, or even representation, in the 
national Government.  While there existed parliamentary 
chambers to represent South Africa's mixed race and Asian 
population groups, members of those groups consistently 
boycotted the elections for those bodies, most recently in 
1989; in any case, the 1983 Constitution kept all real power in 
the hands of the chamber for whites.

A transitional constitution, agreed to in November by the 
negotiating parties and ratified by Parliament in December, 
will govern the country beginning on April 27, 1994, and until 
an elected constitutional assembly drafts a final one.  The 
future constitution includes an extensive, fully justiciable 
bill of rights.  It also provides for an independent judiciary, 
including a constitutional court and nine provincial 
governments directly elected by proportional representation.

The transitional constitution for the first time guarantees all 
South Africans such rights as universal suffrage, equal 
protection under the law, and freedom of speech, assembly, 
association, and religion.  The constitution is to be enacted 
by proclamation on April 27, 1994.  Provision was made to 
enable earlier implementation of certain portions of the 
constitution and bill of rights, but these steps had not been 
taken by year's end.

Multiparty negotiations, suspended since June 1992, resumed in 
April 1993.  On July 2, most participating parties formally 
agreed that the first nonracial election would be held on April 
27, 1994, and that the body so elected would both write a final 
constitution and form the basis for a multiparty transitional 
government to rule the country for an interim period.  The IFP, 
CP, and several other conservative groups suspended their 
further participation in the negotiations process as a result 
of these decisions and later formed a coalition called the 
Freedom Alliance.  Subsequently, the remaining negotiating 
parties reached agreement on establishing, in addition to the 
TEC, an Independent Electoral Commission, Independent Media 
Commission, and Independent Broadcasting Authority, all of 
which are intended to level the playing field for all parties 
in the preelection period.  Parliament passed the enabling 
legislation for these bodies in late September.

While the provisions of the interim constitution will require 
dismantling the homelands system, at the end of the year the 10 
homelands were still in place.  Parliament, however, passed 
legislation reinstating South African citizenship to people 
residing in the homelands, enabling them to participate in the 
April elections.  The homelands are heavily subsidized by the 
Government, some are fragmented parcels of territory in 
impoverished rural areas, and all are agriculturally backward 
areas without the infrastructure needed for development.  Of 
the four so-called independent homelands, which only the South 
African Government recognized as sovereign, Transkei, Ciskei, 
and Venda are ruled by military governments, while 
Bophuthatswana is governed as a one-party state.  Authorities 
in Bophuthatswana and Ciskei, in particular, continued to 
suppress free political activity, especially that of the ANC.  
The six so-called self-governing homelands are Gazankulu, 
KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, Lebowa and Qwaqwa.  According to 
1990 census data, the homelands, which comprise 13 percent of 
the country's territory, are home to 33 percent of South 
Africa's black population.

The participation rate of women in the higher echelons of 
government and politics has historically been extremely low. 
Out of 308 members of the current Parliament, only 8 are 
women.  There is only 1 woman minister out of a total of 22, 
and only 1 woman deputy minister out of a total of 12.  There 
are no women occupying director-general positions in government 

In devising the interim constitution, the multiparty 
negotiating council prohibited gender discrimination in the 
bill of rights and provided for the primacy of the principle of 
equal treatment of women over the right of traditional leaders 
to exercise their tribal prerogatives.  The ANC announced that 
at least a third of its candidates for South Africa's new 
democratically elected parliament will be women.

In the Supreme Court system, there are currently 142 serving 
judges, only 1 of whom is a woman.  A second woman has been 
appointed and will assume her responsibilities in 1994.  Out of 
several hundred senior advocates practicing at the bar, only 
five are female.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

The Government has permitted an increasingly broad range of 
domestic and international organizations to monitor, 
investigate, and report on human rights issues.

The U.N., European Union, Commonwealth of Nations, and 
Organization of African Unity have stationed observer groups in 
South Africa to monitor the violence.  These observers attend 
demonstrations, marches, and other mass events.  They also 
monitor the compliance by all participating organizations to 
both the principles of the National Peace Accord and the 
Goldstone Commission guidelines for marches and political 
gatherings.  In addition, the observers consult regularly with 
the Government, political parties, community organizations, and 
civic groups.  The observer groups enjoyed near-total freedom 
of access to all geographic areas, institutions, and 
personalities, except in Bophuthatswana.

The United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA), 
Amnesty International, Africa Watch, the ICRC, and other 
organizations are in general agreement that the Government has 
improved its responsiveness to their requests for access to 
information, officials, and facilities.  In January Africa 
Watch was for the first time granted access to detainees in 
South African police stations and prisons.  The Government 
permitted the ICRC to increase the number of its delegates from 
12 to 30 in order to visit more prisons and jails.  The ICRC 
characterized its relations with the South African Department 
of Correctional Services as "good."

In contrast, human rights agencies made credible accusations 
that some local authorities refused access to files and 
intimidated investigators of alleged police brutalities and 
unlawful detentions.  For example, an attorney investigating a 
case of unlawful police detention claimed that he was 
confronted by a group of officers who forcibly entered his 
home, physically threatened him, manhandled his wife, and 
advised him to "stop what he was doing."

The treatment of human rights monitors by homeland governments 
at times contrasted sharply with that by the South African 
Government.  While ICRC delegates have complete access to 
prisoners and police station detainees in Bophuthatswana, 
homeland authorities have not agreed to meet with ICRC to 
discuss ICRC's program of basic medical and humanitarian 
assistance to victims of violence.  UNOMSA reports that despite 
persistent efforts to observe events there, Bophuthatswana 
authorities have invariably denied UNOMSA's requests for 
permission to enter their territory.  In a widely publicized 
incident, a group of UNOMSA, Commonwealth, and OAU observers 
were granted permission to attend an Ascension Day service in 
Bophuthatswana in May, but, upon arrival, were barred from 
entering the church and detained by police for an hour.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The transitional constitution passed by Parliament in December 
includes a bill of rights which guarantees equal protection of 
the law to every South African citizen, regardless of race, 
gender, religion, disability, language, or social status.  The 
transitional constitution is to be enacted on April 27, 1994.


Although gender discrimination, particularly against black 
women, remained a serious problem, Parliament advanced the 
rights of and protections for women when it passed the 
Promotion of Equality Between Men and Women Act and the 
Prevention of Family Violence Act in September.

The Promotion of Equality Between Men and Women Act eliminates 
all remaining vestiges of a husband's traditional power over 
his wife in property and financial matters.  It also revokes 
the power of courts to direct that women not be present at 
certain trials, removes all legal differentiation between men 
and women in matters of citizenship, makes the provisions of 
the Sexual Offenses Act equally applicable to men and women, 
abolishes certain provisions in the law which traditionally 
discriminated against married and pregnant women, repeals the 
prohibition against women entering premises where liquor is 
sold, and eliminates the legal barrier which excluded women 
from underground mining work and other high-risk occupations.

The Prevention of Family Violence Act simplifies the injunction 
and arrest procedures related to domestic abuse against women 
and children.  The Act empowers judges and magistrates to 
enjoin an offending spouse from engaging in certain behaviors 
and, simultaneously, to issue an order authorizing the 
automatic arrest of the spouse, if he or she breaks the 
injunction.  The resulting penalty can range up to 12 months' 
imprisonment.  The Act also places a legal obligation on 
persons who have reason to suspect a child is being abused to 
report that fact to the appropriate authorities, and makes it 
possible for husbands to be convicted of marital rape.


Black children in particular have suffered under South Africa's 
apartheid regime which segregated much of the black population 
in poverty-stricken homelands and fractured families by forcing 
their income earners to migrate in search of work.  Without 
adequate parental guidance and protection, many children have 
drifted toward a life of crime and delinquency and have been 
caught up in the maelstrom of political violence.

By all statistical measures of social progress, it is clear 
that the welfare, protection, and development of black children 
have been almost completely neglected.  For example, while the 
infant mortality rate for whites is 6 per thousand, it is 66 
per thousand for blacks.

During the year, the police's Child Protection Unit 
investigated 17,124 crimes against children, involving such 
crimes as rape, indecent assault, assault--both common and with 
intent to do grievous bodily harm--and violations of the Child 
Care Act, among others.

As South Africa makes the transition to a democratic, nonracial 
society, the Government has noted the need to correct the 
glaring shortfalls in support and services for the vast 
majority of the country's children.  Accordingly, a 1992 
children's summit adopted a Charter for Children's Rights in 
South Africa, which calls, inter alia, for the protection of 
children from all types of violence.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

With a view to the April 1994 nonracial elections, the ruling 
white minority began to share its closely held political powers 
and prerogatives with nonwhites.  The TEC, its subcouncils, the 
IEC, IMC, and IBA are administered by people who are both 
racially diverse and representative of a wide spectrum of 
political thought and opinion.  The transitional constitution 
and bill of rights provides for a nonracial society as one of 
the entrenched rights of all South Africans.

Despite the near-total repeal of the statutory foundations of 
apartheid, pervasive discrimination and segregation persisted 
in 1993.  Nevertheless, some private firms and public 
corporations have voluntarily instituted affirmative action 
recruitment practices, even at the highest levels.  Dr. Ivy 
Matsepe-Casaburri, a black woman, was appointed to head the 
SABC, long viewed as the principal propaganda vehicle of the 
Government, and Mr. Yacoob Abba Omar, an Asian, was appointed 
General Manager of Public Relations at ARMSCOR, the centerpiece 
of South Africa's defense industry.

Persons born before 1991 are still classified in the race group 
to which they were assigned at birth.  Until September 1993, 
the Government continued to discriminate in the payment of old 
age pensions, with whites receiving the highest annuity, 
"coloureds" and Asians somewhat less, and blacks the least.  
Pension rates were equalized in like employment categories, but 
disparity persisted between the pensions of management and 
clerical workers, who were usually white, and those of manual 
or unskilled laborers, who were usually black.  The disparities 
between managerial and clerical pensions, on the one hand, and 
those of manual and unskilled laborers, on the other, are a 
reflection of past race-based discrimination in job 

In education the disparity in spending on blacks and whites 
decreased but remained great.  The average student-teacher 
ratio in white schools is 20:1, while it is 38:1 in black 
schools, excluding those in the homelands.  Under current law, 
primary school education is compulsory only for white, Asian, 
and mixed-race children.  Prior to May, the Government charged 
matriculation examination fees, which prevented many poor black 
students from taking the examination and from graduating.  Of 
black matriculants, 38 percent passed their 1992 final 
examinations, whereas 95 percent of white matriculants did.  
According to the Department of Education and Training, 328,890 
students were enrolled in South African universities in 1993 
(not including students in the so-called independent 
homelands).  Of these, 46.8 percent were white, 40.2 percent 
were black, 7.2 percent were Indian, and 5.4 percent were 
"coloured".  During 1993 increasing numbers of white schools 
opted to permit black students to enroll.  The decision to 
enroll black students depended upon the voted consent of white 

The Government repealed its policy of mandatory military 
conscription of exclusively white males.  The Government and 
the ANC began discussions on creating a new defense force which 
would include some of the military wings of liberation 
movements and some homeland armies.  Although the Government 
instituted affirmative action programs in the security services 
over the last 4 years, over 90 percent of officers are white.  
Significant changes, however, are in progress as more 
minorities and women are graduating from the military academy.

     People with Disabilities

South Africa has begun to move from a "medical-welfare" 
conception of disability to one of civil rights and self- 

The participants in the multiparty negotiations included 
disability as a basis for nondiscrimination, along with race, 
gender, ethnic origin, color, sexual orientation, age, 
religion, conscience, creed, culture or language.  In 
preparation for the 1994 election, Lawyers for Human Rights and 
Disabled People South Africa made representations to the 
Government on such issues as ensuring that polling stations 
will be architecturally accessible to wheelchair-using voters 
and that blind voters are able to cast a secret ballot.

In 1991 Lawyers for Human Rights, a leading organization 
fighting prejudice and discrimination, established a disability 
rights unit.  This unit has intervened in some 50 legal cases 
and represented numerous disabled people less formally in their 
dealings with the bureaucracy.  The majority of these cases 
involved either arbitrary determinations of ineligibility for 
social assistance benefits or employer decisions denying equal 
work opportunities on the basis of disability.

In 1986 architectural requirements were incorporated into the 
National Building Code to ensure equal access to public 
buildings for the physically disabled.  However, these were 
rarely enforced and, until recently, public awareness of them 
was virtually nonexistent.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

South Africa's Labor Relations Act entitles all workers in the 
private sector to join labor unions of their choosing.  
Membership in the 200 registered trade unions was approximately 
2.9 million in 1993.  An additional 360,000 workers were 
members of the 46 unregistered unions, bringing union 
membership to 3.26 million workers or 52 percent of the 
employed, economically active population.  Probably more than 
half of all union members are black.

Groups historically excluded from labor law, especially 
farmworkers, domestic workers, and public sector employees, 
made some progress in 1993.  The Basic Conditions of Employment 
Act was extended to farmworkers and domestic workers, and 
Parliament passed an Agricultural Labor Relations Act, after 
considerable consultation with the Congress of South African 
Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Agricultural Union 
(a farmers' organization), which extends some trade union and 
bargaining rights to farm workers.  Nevertheless, domestic and 
farmworkers do not have the right to strike, as defined by 
South African labor law.  The Parliament passed also a Public 
Sector Labor Relations Act designed to consolidate and clarify 
public sector labor law.

Nevertheless, South African labor relations continued to be  
characterized by a patchwork of labor law and practice largely 
designed to inhibit or restrict trade union organization and 
activity.  The result is an uneven and sometimes volatile labor 
relations climate, in which trade unions must rely as much on 
their own organization and strength as on their legal rights to 
achieve their objectives.

Trade unions continued to accuse the Government and others of 
using intimidation and violence to undermine trade union 
activity.  For instance, COSATU, the country's largest trade 
union federation, claimed the KwaZulu government, in collusion 
with the IFP and the South African Government, blocked COSATU 
from organizing in northern Natal by denying meeting venues, 
harassing union members, and killing union leadership.  The 
Goldstone Commission, during an investigation of the KZP, 
declared on December 8 that credible evidence indicated the KZP 
used hit squads to attack and kill ANC and COSATU members in 
northern Natal.  A SAP raid against organizations supposedly 
linked to APLA resulted in the offices of the National Council 
of Trade Unions (NACTU), South Africa's second largest trade 
union federation, being ransacked by police and several of its 
officers and affiliate members being detained.

COSATU is formally aligned with the ANC and the SACP.  At a 
September special national congress, COSATU declared its 
support for the ANC in the April 1994 elections, and offered 20 
federation and affiliate members to stand for election on ANC 
slates.  NACTU, while officially independent from political 
groups, has considerable contact with the PAC and the Azanian 
Peoples' Organization (AZAPO).

Historically, both federations have used strikes and 
"stayaways" to facilitate liberation alliance objectives in 
South Africa's negotiated transition to democratic government.  
COSATU has played an especially important role in this regard.  
Its mass action expertise, including its mobilization and crowd 
control capabilities, were particularly evident during the 
nationwide protests following Chris Hani's assassination.

Most private sector workers regardless of race enjoy the right 
to strike.  Work stoppages triggered by collective bargaining 
disputes, and occasionally political issues, have been 
commonplace.  Industrial action during the first 9 months of 
1993 was down nearly 23 percent from the comparable 1992 
period, with strikes accounting for 2.4 million lost workdays.

Nationwide strikes by the South African Democratic Teachers 
Unions (SADTU) and the South African Municipal Workers Union 
(SAMWU) accounted for nearly all public sector strike activity, 
or about 70 percent of the lost workdays.

Wage disputes provoked 67 percent of strike activity in 1993, 
while grievances, retrenchments, and discipline accounted for 
the remainder.  The drop in strike activity during 1993 was 
attributable to greater union concern regarding job security 
and more sophisticated management labor relations techniques.

Strikers and union leaders are protected by law from 
retribution by employers for union organizing and participation 
in lawful strikes.  Some companies, however, use what they 
describe as retrenchments to remove shop stewards and other 
union officials from the work force.  Also, the patchwork 
nature of South African labor law, the illegality of public 
sector strikes, and the political nature of some stayaways and 
other industrial action, leave ample room for employers to take 
disciplinary actions against trade unionists.  Ultimately, a 
trade unionist's best protection in such circumstances comes 
more from the strength of the union than the effectiveness of 
the law.

Historically, public sector employees have been legally 
prohibited from striking.  A Public Sector Labor Relations Act, 
which takes effect in January 1994, clarifies the collective 
bargaining process for public sector employees but still 
sharply restricts strike activity.  COSATU has argued that the 
Government's definition of essential services is too broad and 
is specifically designed to block public sector strike 
activity.  As was evident by the increase in public sector 
strike activity in 1993, the illegality of striking did not 
deter major public sector unions.

South Africa does not restrict union affiliation with regional 
or international labor organizations.  COSATU and NACTU are 
affiliated internationally only with the Organization of 
African Trade Union Unity.  Many of their affiliates, as well 
as independent unions, are members of international trade 
secretariats and have developed contacts with their 
counterparts in North America and Western Europe.

A member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) from its 
inception in 1919, South Africa withdrew from the organization 
in 1964, but remained bound by the 12 ILO Conventions it had 
ratified.  A 1992 ILO fact-finding mission to South Africa made 
numerous recommendations to bring the country's labor regime up 
to international standards.  To date, only a few of these 
recommendations have been implemented.

Following COSATU protests, the Government did consult with 
COSATU regarding the Public Sector Labor Relations Act.  The 
legislation passed parliament and will go into effect beginning 
in 1994.  COSATU, while acknowledging that the law clarifies 
the collective bargaining process for public servants, argues 
that the law's broad definition of essential services, and its 
limitation of lawful strikes to 30 days, undercuts trade 
unions' ability to bargain successfully.  In November the ILO's 
governing body voted to suspend its Declaration of Action 
Against Apartheid.  Should this decision be ratified by the 
June 1994 ILO Conference, the ILO will be able to establish an 
office in South Africa and resume direct, in-country contact 
with the trade union movement.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The Government does not interfere directly with union 
organizing in the private sector and generally has not 
intervened in the collective bargaining process.  The law 
prohibits discrimination by private sector employers against 
union members and organizers.  Complaints regarding employer 
discrimination against union members can be brought to the 
labor courts.  In the case of a judicial finding against an 
employer, the court can order reinstatement of a worker or 
other compensation.  Disputes over recognition are relatively 

Black unions have made increasing use of South Africa's 
Industrial Council or centralized collective bargaining 
system.  COSATU views the centralized collective bargaining 
system as crucial to trade union economic influence and has 
sought to expand the subject of such bargaining beyond wages 
and benefits to include industry restructuring, job grading and 
training, and other personnel issues.  It has severely 
criticized business efforts in some sectors to do away with 
centralized collective bargaining.

Much of COSATU's and other trade union federations' 
participation in the National Economic Forum and the National 
Manpower Commission--two tripartite forums representing 
government, labor, and business--is designed to strengthen 
trade union influence over labor and economic policy.

South Africa's labor law does not apply to the so-called 
homelands, where union organizing is actively discouraged.  
Nevertheless, trade union activity is on the increase in almost 
all the homelands.  The struggle between trade unions and 
homeland governments, especially in Bophuthatswana, has been 
intense and sometimes violent.  Bophuthatswana enacted 
regressive labor legislation in 1993 which outlaws all foreign 
trade unions and criminalizes membership in or bargaining with 
such unions.  The law has also led to harassment and detainment 
of union organizers representing various COSATU affiliates.

Management and black trade unions have voluntarily resorted to 
private mediation services to resolve industrial disputes.  The 
Labor Relations Act establishes an Industrial Court to rule in 
labor-management disputes.  The most common complaints filed 
with the Court concern dismissals, followed by unfair labor 
practices.  A Labor Court of Appeals oversees the Industrial 
Court and can overturn its decisions.

South Africa has no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution does not prohibit forced labor; however, 
common law does not permit it, and it is not practiced.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act prohibits the employment 
of minors under the age of 15 in most industries, shops, and 
offices.  The Mines and Works Act prohibits minors under 16 
from working underground.  There is no restriction, however, on 
the age at which a person may work in agriculture.  Use of 
child labor on farms, often in harsh and dangerous conditions, 
is common.  Child labor in the informal economy is also 
commonplace.  Enforcement of existing child labor laws by the 
Government is weak and reactive, depending largely on 
complaints being lodged against specific employers.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

There is no legal minimum wage in South Africa. The Labor 
Relations Act instead provides a mechanism for negotiations 
between labor and management to set minimum wage standards by 
industry.  Over 100 industries come under the provisions of the 
Act.  According to a labor research service survey, cleaners, 
who are among the lowest paid of organized workers, earned an 
average monthly salary of approximately $247 (842 rand).  The 
same survey showed drivers earning $428 (1,456 rand) per month.

A comparison of wage information gathered by the Government's 
Central Statistical Service and in a March 1993 study done by 
the University of Port Elizabeth's Institute for Planning 
Research regarding household subsistence levels, shows that in 
the manufacturing sector alone, only 17 of 30 subsectors paid 
an average wage to black workers higher than the subsistence 
level salary.  In the construction sector, average salaries for 
all subsectors were below subsistence level.  Wages paid to 
workers in unorganized sectors, such as agriculture and 
domestic household work, are also below subsistence level.

Most industries have a standard workweek of 46 hours, as well 
as vacation and sick leave.  Overtime is voluntary and limited 
to 10 hours a week.  The law does not mandate a 24-hour rest 
break.  The recent extension of the Basic Conditions of 
Employment Act to farmworkers and domestic workers has, for the 
first time, established workweek standards for both groups.

Attention to health and safety issues increased in recent years 
but remained inadequate.  The state-funded National 
Occupational and Safety Association (NOSA) claims the number of 
workers suffering disabling injuries annually has dropped 
significantly over the last decade.  Nevertheless, injury and 
death at the workplace, especially in heavy manufacturing and 
mining, is still common.  The National Union of Mineworkers 
(NUM) reports that two workers are killed every day in mine 
accidents.  In 1993 the Government agreed to the NUM's request 
for a Mines Commission of Inquiry to investigate the 
occupational health and safety laws, but only after several 
mine accidents left nearly 70 miners dead.

South African occupational safety and health laws, while 
requiring employers to avoid placing their workers at 
unreasonable risk, do not give workers the right to remove 
themselves from a hazardous job.  An employee's decision to 
leave a hazardous work site could possibly lead to dismissal, 
but more probably would result in disciplinary action.  The 
occupational safety and health laws do provide protection for 
workers who report or file complaints against unsafe working 
conditions.  Such workers may not be dismissed or reduced in 
rank or salary because of their actions.

[end of document]


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