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IMF expected to approve $1 billion S. African loan

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) began meeting Wednesday to rule on a controversial $1.07 billion loan to South Africa.

There was no indication when the final decision would be made, but monetary sources have said it was almost certain the request would be approved. The UN General Assembly, in an overwhelming criticism of South Africa's official apartheid policy of racial segregation, voted to oppose the loan although officials said the action would have little impact on IMF deliberations.

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pieter Botha's plans to grant limited power to some of South Africa's non-whites were put to their first test Wednesday in seven regional elections. The elections cannot erase Botha's ruling National Party's 97-seat majority in Parliament, but will be a barometer of the nation's attitude to his plans to include nonwhites in government.