The world must tighten economic sanctions on South Africa and impose heavier penalties on violators in the fight to abolish its apartheid system of racial segregation, Commonwealth foreign ministers declared.

Sanctions have had limited bite because Pretoria has found new export markets in Japan, West Germany and other countries, the eight foreign ministers were told during a two-day meeting that ended Wednesday.The ministers urged Commonwealth and other governments to implement existing sanctions fully, tighten scrutiny over their application and provide heavier penalties for anyone circumventing them.

They also urged financial institutions to halt short-term credit financing for South African trade and toughen loan and insurance procedures.