Apartheid South Africa Legislative Timeline

  • 1913 Black Land Act No 27

    1913 Black Land Act No 27
    The purchasing of land by native Africans from whites, and vice versa, was deemed illegal. Black Africans were forcefully moved into Native reserves, which accounted for less than 10% of South Africa's land, without the ability to purchase and reside on land elsewhere.
  • Native (Black) Urban Areas Act No 21: 1923

    Native (Black) Urban Areas Act No 21: 1923
    It made it possible to remove black African labelled surplus - such as those unable to work or unemployed - by making local authorities control the movement of black South Africans in their jurisdictions.
  • Industrial Conciliation Act No 11: 1924

    Industrial Conciliation Act No 11: 1924
    This was a measure to protect 'white jobs' from black labor competition by reserving certain jobs, usually more skilled jobs, for white citizens only. It also prohibited the establishment of black trade unions.
  • 1936 Representation of Blacks Act No 12

    1936 Representation of Blacks Act No 12
    This act removed all black African representation in South African government, and disenfranchised the small minority of black Africans who had the ability to vote by removing them from the common roll. It instead allowed the senate to vote for whites to represent the black African population, and act on behalf of native interests.
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    Jan Smuts of the Union Party

    The United Party had been in power since 1933
    Was pro-segregation, and inacted segregation policies, but the party had be softening
    Smuts and others though integration of society was inevitable
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    DF Malan of the National Party

    This groundbreaking election allowed for petty apartheid to be put in place
  • Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act

    was an apartheid law in South Africa that prohibited marriages between people of different races.
    It was among the first pieces of apartheid legislation to be passed following the National Party's rise to power in 1948.
    In the three years before its enactment, mixed marriages accounted for just 0.23% of all marriages in the country.
  • 1950 Population Registration Act No 30

    1950 Population Registration Act No 30
    This act required all South African citizens register and classify themselves as part of a certain race. This, of course, made it easier to distinguish between those persecuted under apartheid, and those privileged during that time.
    Three Groups: White, Coloured, and Bantu (apartheid speak for black African)
    Indian population in South Africa initially denied any status, 1959 classified as Asian and added to the Coloured group
  • 1950 Group Areas Act No 41

    1950 Group Areas Act No 41
    This lead to urban areas being divided between races, and made it illegal for black Africans and coloreds to dwell in white-designated spaces. The nonwhite majority was given a small space to reside as compared to the white minority, who could reside in cities like Cape Town and Claremont.
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    Petty Apartheid

    also known as Baaskap – literal translation “boss rule”
    Associated with Malan and Strijdom
    Principal Purpose was to ensure the complete domination, both economic and political of Whites over Blacks
    Characterized by brutal subjugation of the Black majority and decisive manner in which the government dealt with Anti-Apartheid opposition
    “Petty” suggestive of the unnecessarily fussy nature of many apartheid regulations
  • Natives Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents Act of 1952

    Technically abolished traditional Passes – reality replaced the traditional Passes with more comprehensive documents that Africans were required to carry at all times.
    96 page booklet – reference books
    Incredibly detailed – employment record, tax payments, interactions with police etc..
    Contain “Permits” – that had to be stamped
    Police Checks were regular, many people were imprisoned.
    Secondary purpose – constant surveillance of Black Africans
  • 1953 Black Education Act No 47

    1953 Black Education Act No 47
    This act called for the enforcement of racially segregated schooling, leading to the development of extremely unequal educational systems between the white minority and native African majority. Black students faced poorer quality of schooling in both infrastructure and the quality of education they received as a result.
  • Reservation of Separate Amenities Act 1953

    epitome of petty Apartheid
    Strict segregation of all public amenities by race
    Things like Hotels and restaurants located in city centers simply were instructed to refuse admittance to non-Whites
    Whites only signs became a ubiquitous and notorious feature of the civil landscape of South Africans
    Members of other racial groups risked arrest and imprisonment if they used Whites only facilities
  • 1954 Blacks Resettlement Act No 19

    1954 Blacks Resettlement Act No 19
    This act called for the removal of black Africans from areas in or near the magisterial district of Johannesburg - a law created to remove black Africans from Sophiatown, one of the few examples of a 'successful' black township.
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    Strijdom of the National Party

    Known as Lion of the North for domination of the National Party in the Transvaal
    Regarded as radical and uncompromising
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    Grand Apartheid

    Initiated by HF Verwoerd in the late 1950s
    More ideologically sophisticated
    Grand Apartheid, at least in theory, marked a departure from straightforward racial segregation to territorial segregation of South Africa – leading to the goal of independence of the component parts of the country.
    Aimed to establish moral legitimacy – Africans would be allowed to achieve full independence
    Global pressure is increasing against apartheid
    Ambitions reflected in term “Grand” – lofty goals
  • 1961 Urban Blacks Council Act No 79

    1961 Urban Blacks Council Act No 79
    As one of the beginning steps in allowing black South Africans so-called "self-determination", these councils were created with the purpose of the black areas of South Africa become their own states, and that South Africa be majority white. Despite the intentions of this act, the African mini-states were not allowed autonomy.
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    Verwoerd of the National Party

    Critic of South African Policy of taking Jewish Refugees in 1930s and 40s
    Controversial within party, but is known as the “Architect of Apartheid”: Grand Apartheid
    Assassinated in 1966
  • 1964 General Law Amendment Act No 80

    1964 General Law Amendment Act No 80
    It was a measure to oppress those advocating against apartheid and repress political opposition by allowing the extension of the Sobukwe clause - a clause which permitted the state to imprison a critic of apartheid and advocate, Robert Sobukwe, for an additional six years after his 12 month sentence - to individual cases.