Segregationist Legislation Timeline 1856-1979

Segregationist Legislation Timeline 1920-1929

The Native Affairs Act of 1920

The Native Affairs Act was yet another spin-off of the South African Native Affairs Commission report of 1905. It paved the way for the creation of a countrywide system of tribally based, but government appointed, district councils modelled on the lines of the Glen Grey Act of 1894. The principal of separate, communally-based political representation for Africans was extended by the 1936 Representation of Natives Act.

The Durban Land Alienation Ordinance, No 14 of 1922

Anti-Indian Legislation.

This ordinance enables the Durban City Council to exclude Indians from ownership or occupation of property in White areas.

The Natal Provincial Council passes three ordinances of 1922:

  1. The Rural Dealers? Licensing Ordinance - limited the right of appeal.
  2. The Townships Franchise Ordinance - Indians lose municipal franchise.
  3. The Durban Land Alienation Ordinance - gives the Durban Town Council the right to restrict ownership and occupation of land of any race group.

The Class Areas Bill of 1923

Minister of Interior, Sir Patrick Duncan, introduces Class Areas Bill, which proposes compulsory residential and trading segregation for Indians throughout South Africa.

The Natives (Urban Areas) Act No 21 of 1923

The Natives (Urban Areas) Act legislated on a broad front to regulate the presence of Africans in the urban areas. It gave local authorities the power to demarcate and establish African locations on the outskirts of White urban and industrial areas, and to determine access to, and the funding of, these areas. Local authorities were expected to provide housing for Africans, or to require employers to provide housing for those of their workers who did not live in the locations. Africans living in White areas could be forced to move to the locations. Local authorities were empowered to administer the registration of African service contracts, and to determine the extent of African beer brewing or trading in the locations.

Municipalities were also instructed to establish separate African revenue accounts based on the income from fines, fees and rents exacted from 'natives' in the locations; this money was to be used for the upkeep and improvement of the locations. The critical function entrusted to the local authorities was, however, the administration of tougher Pass laws: Africans deemed surplus to the labour needs of White households, commerce and industry, or those leading an 'idle, dissolute or disorderly life', could be deported to the Reserves. In implementing the Act, local authorities were careful to consider the needs of industry. In Johannesburg, for instance, where industrialists made no bones about wanting a large pool of permanent standby labour, it was only intermittently applied until the end of the 1940s. The Act was amended in later years.

Boroughs Ordinance No 189 of 1924

This Bill effectively disenfranchises Indians in Natal. They lose vote in boroughs.

The Industrial Conciliation Act No 11 of 1924

This actProvides for job reservation. Excluded Blacks from membership of registered trade unions and prohibited registration of Black trade unions. Commenced: 8 April 1924. Repealed by s 86 of the Industrial Conciliation Act No 36 of 1937.

The Township Franchise Ordinance of 1924

The Township Franchise Ordinance is approved by the Provincial Council of Natal to deprive Indians of municipal franchise rights, vetoed by the Union Government.

The Rural Dealers Ordinance of 1924

This Ordinance attempts to cripple Indian trade. This Ordinance prevented Indian ownership of land in White areas.

The Transvaal Dealers (Control) Ordinance No 11 of 1925

This ordinance puts obstacles in the way of obtaining licences. Aim to restrict Indian trade.

The Minimum Wages Act of 1925

This Act leads to a form of job reservation and promotes White employment. Certain trades are earmarked for Whites.

The Class Areas Bill of 1925

This Bill is designed for mere segregation.

The Areas Reservation and Immigration and Registration (Further Provision) Bill 1925

Dr. D. F. Malan, Minister of the Interior, introduces Areas Reservation and Immigration and Registration (Further Provision) Bill in Parliament. It defines Indians as aliens and recommends limitation of population through repatriation.

The Mines and Works Act (Colour Bar Act) No 25 of 1926.

Working Life Factories, Township and Popular Culture 1886 - 1940 by Luli CallinicosProperty Rights and Rent Seeking in South Africa by John M. Mbaku

The 1926 Mines and Works Act must be seen against the background of the wage and job colour bars in South Africa. The 1911 Act, mentioned earlier, reserved skilled work for Whites only. But in spite of this law, mine owners continued to desk ill jobs and give more and more work to Black miners to save labour costs. (The wages of Black mine workers remained the same no matter what work they were doing ? they earned about a tenth of the wages of a skilled White worker.) The 1922 strike was caused by the mine owners? attempt to replace a number of White workers with lower-paid Black workers. This Act provides certificates of competency for skilled work, Indian workers are excluded. The legislation was a reflection of the belief of most Whites, especially in the labour market, that the welfare of Whites would suffer significantly if Blacks were not legislated out of the market.

The Liquor Bill of 1926

Indians and Africans could not be employed by licence holders and were not allowed on licensed premises and liquor supply vehicles. 3000 Indians employed in the brewery trade are affected.

The Local Government (Provincial Powers) Act of 1926

This Act denies citizenship rights to Indians

The Immigration and Indian Relief (Further Provision) Bill of 1927

Minister of Interior, Dr Malan, introduces Immigration and Indian Relief Further Provision) Bill, which follows closely on Round Table Conference between India and South Africa. It requires children of South African Indian parents, born outside the Union to enter the country within three months of birth. In addition South Africans who absent themselves for three continuous years from the country forfeit domicile rights, and Indians who have entered the country illegally (mostly at the time of the Anglo-Boer War) condoned and issued with condonation certificates. Families of condonees are not allowed to join them. The Act also establishes a scheme of voluntary repatriation of South African Indians to India. The Indian government complies. Repatriates are to receive bonuses of £20 per adult and £10 per child, plus free passages. The bonus doubled in 1931, and finally abolished in 1955 when it becomes apparent that only the old, intending to retire in India, take advantage of it.

The Asiatics in the Northern Districts of Natal Act of 1927

Transvaal laws are to be applied to Indians in Utrecht, Vryheid, and Paulpietersburg. Restrictions placed on land purchase, trade and residence rights.

The Liquor Act of 1927

Africans and Indians are denied employment by license holders and are not allowed to serve liquor and drive liquor vans. They are also denied access to licensed premises.

The Women?s Franchise Bill of 1927

No Indian women are allowed to vote.

The Riotous Assembly Act of 1927

Any Indians are considered dangerous agitators subject to deportation.

The Immigration and Indian Relief (Further) Provision: Act no 37 of 1927

This Bill becomes law and the scheme of assisted emigration comes into operation. (Repatriation: 1927 1655 Indians repatriated; 1928 3477 repatriated; 1929 1314 repatriated)

The Nationality and Flag Act of 1927

Segregation and Apartheid Laws as Applied to Indians (1859-1994)

Nationality and Flag Act denies Indians right to become citizens by naturalization. Indians not recognised as South African Nationals.

The Old Age Pension Act of 1927

No pension provisions made for Indians.

The Liquor Act of 1927

Prohibition (Statutory) of Natives and Indians to be employed in the Liquor Trade.

The Black Administration Act No 38 of 1927

The Act stated that all moveable property belonging to a Black and allotted by him or accruing under Black law or custom to any woman with whom he lived in a customary union, or to any house, shall upon his death devolve and be administered under Black law and custom.

The Liquor Bill Section 104 of the Liquor Bill of 1928

Prohibiting Indians from entering licensed premises is withdrawn.

Last updated : 12-Apr-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 30-Mar-2011