In a speech at a NP meeting in Upington on 28 July 1979, Prime Minister (later State President) Botha said: “Good neighbourliness in this country can be developed to the full only if we do justice to every population group. And we can keep the peace in this country and ensure the safety of our children only if the right relations are built up between Black and White in this country, and I am going to dedicate my life to this…”, and “The National Party has a programme or policy to adapt to changing circumstances. One cannot keep one’s policy the same year in and year out, because the world does not remain the same year in and year out.”7 And then some years later, in 1982 (the reader keeping Beaufre in mind) Botha said: “Now that we are in power, we have to be prepared to follow the road of justice in our relations with other population groups. If we do not succeed in this way the powers of radicalism and even revolution will disfigure the national life of our country.” 

As part of the Total National Strategy (managed by a National Management Strategy) PW Botha started his campaign of reform. In a speech he gave at the NP Congress in Durban, on 15 September 1979, that would become known as the 12 Point Plan speech, Botha set out what was in fact the culmination of his search for a reform process. According to Botha: “It is to strive for the recognition of the following policy within the framework of a multinational Southern Africa that this is the only solution to our problems.” 

The 12 Point Plan was:  

  1. The recognition and acceptance of the existence of multinationalism and of minorities in the Republic of South Africa. (Said Botha: “You cannot wish them away.”)
  2. The acceptance of vertical differentiation with a built-in principle of self-determination at as many levels as possible.
  3. The establishment of constitutional structures by the black peoples to make the highest degree of self-government possible for them in states that are consolidated as far as practicable. (“We believe that part of the right to self-determination of these Black states is to allow them to grow towards independence according to their own judgement”, said Botha.)
  4. The division of powers between South African whites, South African coloureds and South African Indians with a system of consultation and co-responsibility so far as common interests are concerned.
  5. The acceptance of the principle that, where at all possible, each population group should have its schools and live in its own community as being fundamental to social contentment. (“In my view”, explained the NP leader, “this is not discrimination, it is the recognition of each other’s rights.”)
  6. The preparedness to consult as equals on matters of common interest with a sound balance between the rights of the individual and those of the community. (Botha then said that he was in favour of removing petty apartheid, “hurtful and unnecessary discriminatory measures”. And then curbing the possibility of being branded a liberal, made the following adamantly clear: “But I am not in favour of a system of compulsory integration in South Africa, and I am not in favour of endangering my own people’s right to self-determination.”)
  7. The recognition of economic interdependence and the properly planned utilisation of manpower