A £12 MILLION pledge by the Mariarinhill Missionaries has played a key role in the South African government's decision not to relocate 12,000 blacks.
The government has accepted an offer by the Mariannhill Fathers to spend £12 million on developing the town of St. Wendolin's, where the blacks live.
There was singing and dancing in the streets of St. Wendolin's when the news was heard, said Fr John Bourns provincial superior of the Mariannhill Fathers, based near Durban in the South African province of Natal.
He quoted a local shopkeeper as saying, "We have won, not because we are clever people, but because God has heard our prayers and softened the hearts of the government."
Piet Koornhof, minister of cooperation and development, announced in Parliament on April 11 that the decision had been made after many meetings with black leaders, various organizations and the Mariannhill Missionaries. The new decision reverses a decision of 18 years ago to clear the area for occupation by Asians.
Under South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation, different racial and ethnic groups must live in specially designated areas.
Koornhof said the 12,000 residents of St. Wendolin's would be granted freehold property rights.