KEY LEGISLATION IN THE FORMATION OF APARTHEID
Population Registration Act.The Population Registration Act No 30 of 1950 (commenced 7 July) required people to be identified and registered from birth as one of four distinct racial groups: White, Coloured, Bantu (Black African), and other. It was one of the 'pillars' of Apartheid. Race was reflected in the individual's Identity Number.
The Act was typified by humiliating tests which determined race through perceived linguistic and/or physical characteristics. The wording of the Act was imprecise, but was applied with great enthusiasm:
"A White person is one who is in appearance obviously white – and not generally accepted as Coloured – or who is generally accepted as White – and is not obviously Non-White, provided that a person shall not be classified as a White person if one of his natural parents has been classified as a Coloured person or a Bantu..."
"A Bantu is a person who is, or is generally accepted as, a member of any aboriginal race or tribe of Africa..."
"A Coloured is a person who is not a White person or a Bantu..."
It could lead to members of an extended family being classified as belonging to different races, e.g. parents White, children Coloured.
Repealed by the Population Registration Act Repeal Act No 114 of 1991.
Source: http://africanhistory.about.com/od/apartheidlaws/g/No30of50.htm, Accessed March 13, 2009
Immorality ActOn the grounds of the Immorality Act, the police tracked down racially mixed couples suspected of being in relationships. Homes were invaded, and mixed couples caught in bed were arrested. Underwear was used as forensic evidence in court.
Most couples found guilty were sent to jail. Blacks were often given harsher sentences than whites.
One of the first people convicted of the immorality act was a Cape Dutch Reformed minister, who was caught having sex with a domestic worker in his garage. He was given a suspended sentence, and the parishioners bulldozed the garage to the ground.
The act was passed in 1950. In 1985, the Immorality Act and Prohibition of mixed Marriages Act were both repealed.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immorality_Amendment_Act Accessed March 13, 2009
Group Areas ActThe Group Areas Act of 1950 set out a tone of racial segregation. It applied to members of all racial groups and provided for the imposition of control over the ownership and occupation of land and buildings throughout S.A.
In practice this meant that all white, black, coloured and Asian people in South Africa would have to live in group areas allocated to members of their groups. Their ownership of property and business rights would be confined to those areas. This also meant that many people had to move out of their homes where they had lived for years and go and live in a strange place which they knew little or nothing about because they had occupied a Group Area designated for another race.
Through this Act many of the Blacks in South Africa were removed from the urban areas especially of the Transvaal and Johannesburg regions were they found work as miners. The reasons for this Act presented by the government of the day was that a growing black proletariat in these urban areas could pose a threat to the government because obviously at these urban areas blacks gained a higher standard of living and higher education than they have been subject to in the African reserves or Townships, thus they would have high expectations and would revolt if these expectations were not met.
The Apartheid model of the city was a commercial city centre, transitional mixed-use area, white residential, coloured residential, black residential on outskirts.
Source: http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=489370 Accessed March 13, 2009
Suppression of Communism ActThe Riotous Assemblies and Suppression of Communism Amendment Act No 15 of 1954 (commenced 15 April 1954) empowered the Minister of Justice "to prohibit listed persons from being members of specific organisations or from attending gatherings of any description without giving them the opportunity of making representations in their defence or furnishing reasons". He was also "authorized to prohibit any particular gathering or all gatherings, in any public place for specified periods". The act also allowed the Minister to ban publications deemed to incite hostility between groups and thus could be used to ban publications which tried to being about social change.
Repealed by the Internal Security Act No 74 of 1982.
Source: http://africanhistory.about.com/od/apartheidlaws/g/No15of54.htm Accessed March 16, 2009
Bantu Education Act /Bantu Authorities ActThe Group Areas Act of 1950 divided the lands in which blacks and whites resided into distinct residential zones. This act established the distinct areas of South Africa in which members of each race could live and work, typically setting aside the best urban, industrial, and agricultural areas for whites. Blacks were restricted from renting or even occupying property in the areas deemed as "white-zones", unless they had received permission from the state to do so. The establishment of the Bantu Self-Government Act of 1950 created the bantustans (homelands) for the black population based upon their tribal groupings. Blacks were stripped of their rights to participate in the national government of South Africa when the Bantu Authorities Act was established. Ratified in 1951, the Bantu Authorities Act created a basis for ethnic government in African reserves, known as the "homelands." These homelands were established by the national government to function as independent states. Black Africans were assigned to a homeland based on their tribal grouping, which was in accordance to their record of origin. Often times, these records of origin were incorrect. Every political right held by black Africans was restricted to their designated homeland, including their right to vote. The South African government established this law in hopes of black Africans becoming citizens of their designated homelands, thereby forfeiting their citizenship to South Africa. Along with their loss of citizenship, blacks lost every right to take part in South African government, which held complete dominance over their homelands. From 1976 to 1981, four homelands were created, denationalizing over nine million South Africans. These laws became so strict and severe that passports were required for black Africans to enter into South Africa, the land that had formerly been their country of citizenship.
Source: http://home.snu.edu/~dwilliam/f97projects/apartheid/Laws.htm Accessed March 16, 2009
Pass LawsThe Pass Laws Act of 1952 required black South Africans over the age of 16 to carry a pass book, known as a dompas, everywhere and at all times. The dompas was similar to a passport, but it contained more pages filled with more extensive information than a normal passport. Within the pages of an individual's dompas was their fingerprints, photograph, personal details of employment, permission from the government to be in a particular part of the country, qualifications to work or seek work in the area, and an employer's reports on worker performance and behavior. If a worker displeased their employer and they in turn declined to endorse the book for the pertinent time period, the worker's right to stay in the area was jeopardized. According to the Pass Law, government officials possessed the power to expel the worker from the area by adverse endorsement in the passbook. This technique was known as 'endorsing out' and could be carried out at any time and for any reason. Officials were not required to provide an explanation for their actions. Family members of a worker who was 'endorsed out' also forfeited their right to remain in the area and faced eviction and exile to a bantustan. Forgetting to carry the dompas, misplacing it, or having it stolen rendered one liable to arrest and imprisonment. Each year, over 250,000 blacks were arrested for technical offenses under the Pass Laws. As a result, the dompas became the most despised symbol of apartheid.
Source: http://home.snu.edu/~dwilliam/f97projects/apartheid/Laws.htm Accessed March 16, 2009
Separate Amenities ActThe Act was to provide for the reservation of public premises and vehicles or portions thereof for the exclusive use of persons of a particular race or class, for the interpretation of laws which provide for such reservation, and for matters incidental thereto.
Source:http://www.disa.ukzn.ac.za/index.php?option=com_displaydc&recordID=leg19531009.028.020.049 Accessed March 16, 2009
Criminal Law Amendment ActIn 1953, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed, which empowered the government to declare stringent states of emergency and increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of a law. The penalties included fines, imprisonment and whippings. In 1960, a large group of blacks in Sharpeville refused to carry their passes; the government declared a state of emergency. The emergency lasted for 156 days, leaving 69 people dead and 187 people wounded. Wielding the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the white regime had no intention of changing the unjust laws of apartheid
Source: http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html Accessed March 16, 2009