The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1994Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Interview in Pretoria – 22 September 1994

Below is Mr Major’s interview in Pretoria, held on Thursday 22nd September 1994.


[Mr Major was asked what his memories of his South Africa visit would be]


I think the atmosphere, the atmosphere of hope and optimism, there wasn’t any some time ago, there is now. That is one great abiding memory. I think the other is the way in which people are working together to create a new South Africa and perhaps above all, on a more personal level, the attitude of the youngsters, their sheer delight at the sporting equipment that was available, the wonderful choir that we saw at one of the schools and the way in which they are beginning to see their future in a more positive light.


[Mr Major was asked what he had achieved in practical terms]


I think we have achieved quite a lot in practical terms. The business relationship has undoubtedly been thickened and improved and so has the political relationship. We have been able to offer a whole series of special assistance. This morning, for example, I visited the British military team who are assisting in the integration of the South African Defence Force; I was able to promise this morning that that team would stay there for so long as the South Africans wished them to, previously they were there for a limited period.

There has been a great deal of assistance that we have been able to offer to the townships. I won’t run through it all but a great deal of assistance on each day.