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THE WEEK AHEAD

DURBAN : A Pivotal Party Congress

August 28, 1990

South Africa's ruling National Party, battling to hold onto white voters nervous about apartheid reforms, meets in this southeastern coastal city Thursday and Friday for its first provincial congress since President Frederik W. de Klerk's election 11 months ago.

Its biggest problem is retaining white support long enough to prove that the reform process can bring the country together and end its international ostracism. But recent black factional fighting near Johannesburg has fueled white fears of a future black-led government.

Meanwhile, party leaders have hinted that they may also discuss opening their membership rolls to all races.

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