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Abstract  This article attempts to correlate the unprecedented economic growth of the 1960s in South Africa with shifts in patterns of consumption, attendant lifestyle changes and forms of status identification among Afrikaners. Moreover the subsequent divergences in Afrikaner nationalist politics and the demise of apartheid are explored in terms of the rise of the Afrikaner middle-class as one, hitherto largely unexamined, factor in the political transition in South Africa during the 1990s.