INTRODUCTION After a rule of 31 years, the United Party lost control of Johannesburg in municipal elections held to decide who will govern South Africa's most important industrial city for the next five years.
SV Newspaper poster announcing local election results in Johannesburg, South Africa
CU Newspapers on street
SVs Signs saying whites and Europeans only (3 shots)
SVs & CUs Signs saying blacks, coloured and Asians only (4 shots)
CU Progressive Reform Party leader Councillor Alf Widman speaking to reporter
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 5): WIDMAN: "The result of the city council elections held in Johannesburg last night are significant and have far reaching implications. It is significant firstly because this is the first time that the Progressive Reform Party of South Africa have fought an election in Johannesburg proper and we have emerged as the party with the largest number of seats and in fact, although we haven't the overall majority of 24, we've won the election. But the issue in this election went beyond just being able to govern the city of Johannesburg. It is significant because we tested the black voters of an important city like Johannesburg on our policies and our policies are enunciated by our congress and that is that we stand for an open society -- an open society in which we will eliminate all forms of discrimination based on race, colour, sex or religion. We offer equal opportunities to all people and on this platform, we've announced the alternative to apartheid and the test which has significance now shows that some 20,500 voters who supported us in 1971 show that they are prepared to accept change -- a change that is the alternative to apartheid that is practised by the government in office at the moment."
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Background: INTRODUCTION After a rule of 31 years, the United Party lost control of Johannesburg in municipal elections held to decide who will govern South Africa's most important industrial city for the next five years. In a three-way contest on Wednesday (2 March) the liberal Progressive Reform Party won most seats, but failed to gain an overall majority in the city council.
SYNOPSIS: The demise of the United Party was expected, but the most striking result was the performance of the National Party of Mr. John Vorster the Prime Minister. It increased its number of seats by 50 per cent.
The Progressive Reform Party has called for the desegregation of buses, swimming pools, schools and restaurants and shared control of the city council. One of the party's leaders, Mr. Alf Widman, commented on the election results.