Apartheid Legislation in South Africa | Segregationist legislation
Apartheid Legislation in South Africa , Segregationist legislation
The system of racial segregation in South Africa known as apartheid was implemented and enforced by a large number of acts and other laws. This legislation served to institutionalise racial discrimination and the dominance by white people over people of other races. While the bulk of this legislation was enacted after the election of the National Party government in 1948, it was preceded by discriminatory legislation enacted under earlier British and Afrikaner governments.
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The mere mention of South Africa in a discussion provokes deep images of institutional racism, discrimination and horrific violence. An in-depth look at the controversial history of South Africa, Stefan Molyneux separates the fact from fiction and discusses: the communist history of South Africa, the South African Frontier Wars, the Suppression of Communism Act, the Bantu, population growth, racial demographics, catastrophic economic decisions, the devaluation of the S.A. Rand, rampant price inflation, affirmative action, family structure, one of the worst education systems in the world, unemployment, Eskom's rolling power outages, white flight, rising criminality, an astronomical murder rate, horrific rape statistics, the rampant sexual abuse of children, prevalence of HIV/AIDS, white farmer genocide, police corruption, President Jacob Zuma, the "kill the Boer" song, life expectancy, road fatalities and the untold history of Apartheid.
Apartheid Legislation in South Africa | Segregationist legislation, NP leaders argued that South Africa did not comprise a single nation, but was made up of four distinct racial groups: white, black, coloured and Indian. These groups were split into 13 nations or racial federations. White people encompassed the English and Afrikaans language groups; the black populace was divided into ten such groups.
The state passed laws that paved the way for "grand apartheid", which was centred on separating races on a large scale, by compelling people to live in separate places defined by race. This strategy was in part adopted from "left-over" British rule that separated different racial groups after they took control of the Boer republics in the Anglo-Boer war. This created the black-only "townships" or "locations", where blacks were relocated to their own towns. In addition, "petty apartheid" laws were passed. The principal apartheid laws were as follows.
The first grand apartheid law was the Population Registration Act of 1950, which formalised racial classification and introduced an identity card for all persons over the age of 18, specifying their racial group. Official teams or Boards were established to come to a conclusion on those people whose race was unclear. This caused difficulty, especially for coloured people, separating their families when members were allocated different races.
The second pillar of grand apartheid was the Group Areas Act of 1950. Until then, most settlements had people of different races living side by side. This Act put an end to diverse areas and determined where one lived according to race. Each race was allotted its own area, which was used in later years as a basis of forced removal. The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act of 1951 allowed the government to demolish black shanty town slums and forced white employers to pay for the construction of housing for those black workers who were permitted to reside in cities otherwise reserved for whites.
The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of 1949 prohibited marriage between persons of different races, and the Immorality Act of 1950 made sexual relations with a person of a different race a criminal offence.
Under the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act of 1953, municipal grounds could be reserved for a particular race, creating, among other things, separate beaches, buses, hospitals, schools and universities. Signboards such as "whites only" applied to public areas, even including park benches. Blacks were provided with services greatly inferior to those of whites, and, to a lesser extent, to those of Indian and coloured people.
Further laws had the aim of suppressing resistance, especially armed resistance, to apartheid. The Suppression of Communism Act of 1950 banned any party subscribing to Communism. The act defined Communism and its aims so sweepingly that anyone who opposed government policy risked being labelled as a Communist. Since the law specifically stated that Communism aimed to disrupt racial harmony, it was frequently used to gag opposition to apartheid. Disorderly gatherings were banned, as were certain organisations that were deemed threatening to the government.
Education was segregated by the 1953 Bantu Education Act, which crafted a separate system of education for African students and was designed to prepare black people for lives as a labouring class. In 1959 separate universities were created for black, coloured and Indian people. Existing universities were not permitted to enroll new black students. The Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974 required the use of Afrikaans and English on an equal basis in high schools outside the homelands.
The Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 created separate government structures for blacks and whites and was the first piece of legislation to support the government's plan of separate development in the Bantustans. The Promotion of Black Self-Government Act of 1959 entrenched the NP policy of nominally independent "homelands" for blacks. So-called "self–governing Bantu units" were proposed, which would have devolved administrative powers, with the promise later of autonomy and self-government. It also abolished the seats of white representatives of Africans and removed from the rolls the few blacks still qualified to vote. The Bantu Investment Corporation Act of 1959 set up a mechanism to transfer capital to the homelands to create employment there. Legislation of 1967 allowed the government to stop industrial development in "white" cities and redirect such development to the "homelands". The Black Homeland Citizenship Act of 1970 marked a new phase in the Bantustan strategy. It changed the status of blacks to citizens of one of the ten autonomous territories. The aim was to ensure a demographic majority of white people within South Africa by having all ten Bantustans achieve full independence.
Interracial contact in sport was frowned upon, but there were no segregatory sports laws.
The government tightened pass laws compelling blacks to carry identity documents, to prevent the immigration of blacks from other countries. To reside in a city, blacks had to be in employment there. Until 1956 women were for the most part excluded from these pass requirements, as attempts to introduce pass laws for women were met with fierce resistance.