INTRODUCTION: The Director General of the South African Health, Welfare and Pensions Department, Dr.
SV Minister of Health Dr. de Beer speaking on birth control
SV Black women sitting in family planning clinic in Johannesburg
SV Johannesburg doctor Dr. Motlana speaking
SV Family planning worker taking details from patients (Dr. Motlana voice-over)
CU Women waiting in centre
CU Nurse examines smear test
SV Black women in centre, health worker distributes tablets (2 shots)
SV Dr. Motlana finishes interview
DR. DE BEER (SEQ. 1): "No country can really afford to have an unchecked population growth. If one considers that it is the responsibility of the government to provide an infrastructure, I'm referring to matters like transport, communication, roads, hospitals, schools and all the various other public facilities. So, if it is carrying on with the growth rate, it is quite apparent that the total population will double itself within 29 years, and no country can afford it."
INTERVIEWER: "What can be done in practice in South Africa to meet this problem?"
DE BEER: "Well, I think the very first thing is to teach people, of all population groups, that there is such a thing as responsible parenthood, and also to try and indicate to them what is within the means of a country to provide for an infrastructure. In one considers the present growth rate of, say, the black population, one would have to reduce that dramatically, probably in the vicinity of about 20 per thousand, and even the other population groups, like the Indians and coloureds, will also have to come down slightly, in order to meet the requirements of the future."
DR. MOTLANA (SEQ. 8): "It seems the statement by Dr. de Beer has created quite a stir. Many people read between the lines and say that the intention was to pressure the government to enforce birth control. Basically, the statement is in line with what many doctors have said that there is a need for family planning. But, because of the political overtones that are obvious in this statement, the suggestion is obvious that, whereas the white birthrate needs to be increased, the blacks need to be curbed. There are very many family planning clinics in South Africa. It isn't as if the black man in South Africa is more in need to plan his family. Family planning is highly acceptable and I, and many other doctors, have been doing this for the past 20 years."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Director General of the South African Health, Welfare and Pensions Department, Dr. Johann de Beer, has said that sterilisation and abortion might have to be enforced unless certain ethnic groups in the community accepted the government's family planning measures. If the present birthrate, particularly among blacks, continued at its present high rate, the minister said, South Africa's economy would not be able to withstand the strain.
SYNOPSIS: But Dr. de Beer's attitude have been strongly attacked by the black South African civic leader, Dr. Nthato Motlana.