South African state policy in the 1940s moved in significantly new political directions that
were not simply the prelude to apartheid. This shift, under the leadership of Jan Smuts, towards
a welfarist management of black urbanization, can only be understood by focusing on
transnational dimensions of the period that have been neglected by historians of South Africa.
The reorganization of the state was made possible as a consequence of the business of fighting
a global war. South African policy changes were intimately linked to the evolution of British
colonial policy. And the South African interventions in world politics to support the creation of
the United Nations and to reconfigure the southern African subcontinent were to have drastic
and unforeseen consequences.