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Apartheid legislation in South Africa

Hut tax
Treaty of Vereeniging (1902)
Natives' Land (1913)
Urban Areas (1923)

Prohibition of Mixed Marriages (1949)
Immorality Act (1950)

Population Registration Act (1950)
Group Areas Act (1950)
Suppression of Communism (1950)
Bantu Building Workers (1951)
Separate Representation of Voters (1951)
Prevention of Illegal Squatting (1951)
Bantu Authorities (1951)
Natives Laws (1952)
Pass Laws (1952)
Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) (1953)
Bantu Education (1953)
Reservation of Separate Amenities (1953)
Natives Resettlement (1954)
Group Areas Development (1955)
Natives (Prohibition of Interdicts) (1956)
Bantu Investment Corporation (1959)
Extension of University Education (1959)
Promotion of Bantu Self-Government (1959)
Coloured Persons Communal Reserves (1961)
Preservation of Coloured Areas (1961)
Urban Bantu Councils (1961)
Terrorism Act (1967)
Bantu Homelands Citizens (1970)

No new legislation introduced, rather
the existing legislation named was amended.

Apartheid in South Africa
Events and Projects

Sharpeville Massacre
Soweto uprising · Treason Trial
Rivonia Trial · Church Street bombing
CODESA · St James Church massacre
Cape Town peace march
Purple Rain


ANC · IFP · AWB · Black Sash · CCB
Conservative Party · ECC · PP · RP
Broederbond · National Party


P. W. Botha · Oupa Gqozo · D. F. Malan
Nelson Mandela · Desmond Tutu
F. W. de Klerk · Walter Sisulu
Helen Suzman · Harry Schwarz
Andries Treurnicht · H. F. Verwoerd
Oliver Tambo · B. J. Vorster
Kaiser Matanzima · Jimmy Kruger
Steve Biko · Mahatma Gandhi
Joe Slovo · Trevor Huddleston


Bantustan · District Six · Robben Island
Sophiatown · South-West Africa
Soweto · Sun City · Vlakplaas

Other aspects

Afrikaner nationalism
Apartheid laws · Freedom Charter
Sullivan Principles · Kairos Document
Disinvestment campaign
South African Police

The Apartheid Legislation in South Africa was a series of different laws and acts which were to help the apartheid-government to enforce the segregation of different races and cement the power and the dominance by the Whites, of substantially European descent, over the other race groups. Starting in 1948, the Nationalist Government in South Africa enacted laws to define and enforce segregation. With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalised.

What makes South Africa's apartheid era different from segregation in other countries is the systematic way in which the National Party, which came into power in 1948, formalized it through the law.

The effect of the legislation was invariably favorable to the whites and detrimental to the other race groups.


Segregationist legislation before apartheid

Although apartheid as a comprehensive legislative project truly began after the National Party came into power in 1948, many of these statutes were preceded by the laws of the previous British and Afrikaner administrations in South Africa's provinces. [1] [2] An early example is the Glen Grey Act, passed in 1894 in Cape Colony, and which had the effect of diminishing the land rights of Africans in scheduled areas. [3]

Primary apartheid legislation

The "apartheid laws" were enacted following the 1948 South African election and subsequent declaration of "grand apartheid". The principal pieces of legislation to enforce apartheid were as follows:[4]



Early 1950s
Mid 1950s
  • Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act of 1953
  • Bantu Education Act, Act No 47 of 1953
  • Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, Act No 49 of 1953
  • Natives Resettlement Act, Act No 19 of 1954
  • Group Areas Development Act, Act No 69 of 1955
  • Natives (Prohibition of Interdicts) Act, Act No 64 of 1956
Late 1950s


  • Coloured Persons Communal Reserves Act, Act No 3 of 1961
  • Preservation of Coloured Areas Act, Act No 31 of 1961
  • Urban Bantu Councils Act, Act No 79 of 1961
  • Terrorism Act, Act No 83 of 1967



  1. ^ Scythe, N C: 'Early apartheid: race laws in South Africa 1652 - 1836', LLM thesis, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 1995.
  2. ^ Smythe, N C: 'The origins of apartheid: race legislation in South Africa - 1836 - 1910'. LLM thesis, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 1995.
  3. ^ Smythe, N C: 'The origins of apartheid: race legislation in South Africa - 1836 - 1910', p 262. ELM thesis, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 1995.
  4. ^ Alistair Boddy-Evans. African History: Apartheid Legislation in South Africa, About.Com. Accessed October 19 2008.

See also

External links



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