Segregationist Legislation Timeline 1970-1979

Bantu Homelands Citizens Act of 1970

No Black person will eventually qualify [for South African nationality and the right to work or live in South Africa] because they will all be aliens, and as such, will only be able to occupy the houses bequeathed to them by their fathers, in the urban areas, by special permission of the Minister." Connie Mulder, South African Information and Interior Minister, 1970. Repealed by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act No 200 of 1993.

  • Act 21 of 1971 Self-governing Territories Constitution Act, 1971
  • Act 31 of 1971 Transkei Constitution Amendment Act, 1971
  • Act 61 of 1975 Transkei Constitution Amendment Act, 1975
  • Act 3 of 1976 Transkei Constitution Amendment Act, 1976
  • Act 65 of 1976 Financial Relations Act, 1976
  • Act 100 of 1976 Status of Transkei Act, 1976
  • Act 30 of 1977 Constitution Amendment Act, 1977
  • Act 31 of 1977 Financial Relations Amendment Act, 1977
  • Act 89 of 1977 Status of Bophuthatswana Act, 1977
  • Act 8 of 1978 Bophuthatswana Border Extension Act, 1978
  • Act 13 of 1978 National States Citizenship Amendment Act, 1978
  • Act 36 of 1978 Alteration of Provincial Boundaries Act, 1978
  • Act 107 of 1979 Status of Venda Act, 1979
  • Act 47 of 1970Wine and Spirit Control Act, 1970
  • Act 70 of 1970Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act, 1970
  • Act 25 of 1977Livestock Improvement Act, 1977
  • Act 87 of 1979Designated Areas Development Act, 1979

Pre-Union Statute Law Revision Act, 1970 (Act 42 of 1970)

This Act repealed certain Pre-Union laws which were in force in the various provinces of the Republic.

South African Law Reform Commission Act, 1973 (Act 19 of 1973),

It provides for the establishment of the South African Law Reform Commission. Provision is also made for the constitution, objects, powers, and duties of, and reports by, the Commission.

Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973).

The Department only administers Chapters 14 and 15 of this Act. Chapter 14, which deals with the winding?up of companies, provides, among others, for winding-up by a court; voluntary winding-up; the appointment, powers and duties of liquidators; the examination of persons in winding-up; and the dissolution of companies and other bodies corporate. Chapter 15, which regulates judicial management, provides, among others, for the circumstances in which a company may be placed under judicial management; the duties of judicial managers; and the cancellation of a judicial management order.

General Law Amendment Act, 1973 (Act 62 of 1973)

Section 50 of this Act is amended Proclamation No. 333 of 1949.

Prescribed Rate of Interest Act, 1975 (Act 55 of 1975)

This Act provides for the calculation of interest on a debt, in certain circumstances, at a prescribed rate and for the payment of interest on certain judgment debts.

Petition Proceedings Replacement Act, 1976 (Act 35 of 1976)

In terms of this Act any reference in any law to the institution of application proceedings in any court by petition, shall be construed as a reference to the institution of such proceedings by notice of motion in terms of the rules of such court.

Pre-Union Statute Law Revision Act, 1976 (Act 36 of 1976)

It repealed certain Pre-Union laws which were in force in the various provinces of the Republic.

Abolition of Civil Imprisonment Act, 1977 (Act 2 of 1977)

This Act abolished civil imprisonment of a debtor on account of his or her failure to pay a sum of money in terms of any judgment.

Indemnity Act, 1977 (Act 13 of 1977),

This indemnifies the State, members of the Executive Council of the Republic, persons in the service of the State and persons acting under their authority in respect of acts, announcements, statements or information advised, commanded, ordered, directed, done, made or published in good faith for the prevention, suppression or termination of internal disorder or the maintenance or restoration of good order or public safety or essential services or the preservation of life or property in any part of the Republic.

Prohibition of the Exhibition of Films on Sundays and Public Holidays Act, 1977 (Act 16 of 1977),

This prohibits the exhibition of films on Sundays and certain public holidays in certain circumstances.

Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Act, 1977 (Act 40 of 1977)

This Act provides for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Provision is made that any foreign arbitral award may be made an order of a court and be enforced as such. The Act also provides for the circumstances under which an order of a court may be refused.

Pre-Union Statute Law Revision Act, 1977 (Act 43 of 1977)

This Act repealed certain Pre-Union laws which were in force in the various provinces of the Republic.

Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977)

This regulates aspects relating to the criminal procedure in the South African law. The Act provides, among others, for the procedures to be followed in criminal proceedings; arrest and other measures of securing the attendance of accused persons in court; and the release of an accused on warning or bail. It further regulates the laws pertaining to search and warrants; seizure and forfeiture of property; assistance to accused persons; summary trials and preparatory examinations; conduct of proceedings; witnesses and evidence; competent verdicts, previous convictions and sentence; compensation and restitution; reviews and appeals in cases of criminal proceedings in lower courts; and for appeals in cases of criminal proceedings in superior courts.

Dissolution of Marriages on Presumption of Death Act, 1979 (Act 23 of 1979)

This Act provides for the dissolution of marriages of persons presumed to be dead.

Attorneys Act, 1979 (Act 53 of 1979),

This Act consolidated the laws relating to the admission and practice of attorneys, notaries and conveyancers. The Act, among others, provides for the continuation of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund and law societies in respect of the attorneys' profession. Provision is further made for the qualifications for, and admission as, attorneys, notaries and conveyancers and for the removal from the roll of attorneys.

Divorce Act, 1979 (Act 70 of 1979)

The Act regulates the law of divorce in South Africa. Provision is made for the dissolution of a marriage and the grounds for divorce; the safeguarding of interests of dependent and minor children; the division of assets; and the maintenance of parties to divorce proceedings.

Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act (National States Citizenship Act) No 26 of 1970

Required all Black persons to become citizens of a self-governing territorial authority. As Minister Connie Mulder stated: ?No Black person will eventually qualify in terms of section 10 because they will all be aliens, and as such, will only be able to occupy the houses bequeathed to them by their fathers, in the urban areas, by special permission of the Minister,? i.e. Black people are forced by residence in designated ?homelands? areas to be citizens of that homeland and denied South African nationality, the right to work in South Africa etc.

Assent gained: 26 March 1970; commencement date not found

Repealed by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act No 200 of 1993.

Bantu Homelands Constitution Act (National States Constitutional Act) No 21: 31 March 1971

Provided for the granting of increased powers to homeland governments, thus facilitating their eventual ?independence?.

Commenced: 31 March 1971. Repealed by Sch 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act No 200 of 1993.

Extension of University Education Amendment Act No 29: 12 May 1971

In order to prevent students from changing courses after admission, the Minister would give consent only in respect of a specific university and a specified qualification. He could withdraw his consent if the student concerned changed her/his course of study (SRR 1971:288).

Commenced: 12 May 1971. Repealed by s 21 of the Tertiary Education Act No 66 of 1988.

Black Affairs Administration Act No 45: 26 November 1971

Provided for Black self-government in townships. Commenced: 26 November 1971. Repealed by s 69 of the Black Communities Development Act No 4 of 1984.

Bantu Homelands Citizens Act of 1970

No Black person will eventually qualify [for South African nationality and the right to work or live in South Africa] because they will all be aliens, and as such, will only be able to occupy the houses bequeathed to them by their fathers, in the urban areas, by special permission of the Minister." Connie Mulder, South African Information and Interior Minister, 1970. Repealed by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act No 200 of 1993.

Bophuthatswana, Ciskei and Lebowa proclaimed self-governing territories (Name of Act?)

Marriage Act No 4 of 1973

Created a local marriage recognition regime, distinct from that of South Africa. Commenced: 19 April 1973

Suppression of Communism Amendment Act No 2 of 1972

Amended provisions regarding the participation of certain persons in the activities of certain organisations as well as ministerial powers regarding the registration of newspapers.

Commenced: 8 March 1972

Repealed by s 73(1) of the Internal Security Act No 74 of 1982.

Admission of Persons to the Republic Regulation Act No 59 of 1972

Consolidated the laws relating to prohibited persons and to the admission of persons to the Republic or any of its provinces. Commenced: 2 June 1972. Repealed by s 60 of the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act No 108 of 1991.

Security Intelligence and State Security Council Act No 64 of 1972

Commenced: 14 June 1972. Repealed by s 7 of the National Strategic Intelligence Act No 39 of 1994.

Between 1972 and 1977, all the homelands were given self-government similar to that of the Transkei (Dugard 1978: 91). All enactments of the Legislative Assemblies of the homelands required the approval of the State President of the Republic of South Africa. In 1973 Venda and Gazankulu proclaimed a self-governing territories. In 1974 QwaQwa is proclaimed a self-governing territory.

In 1976 Transkei becomes the first independent homeland. In 1977

Bophuthatswana gains its independence and KwaZulu is proclaimed a self-governing territory.

Aliens Control Act No 40 of 1973

Exempted Indians from the need to obtain permits for travel between provinces. However, in terms of provincial legislation, Indians were not allowed to stay in the Orange Free State and parts of northern Natal for more than a brief period unless prior permission had been obtained (Dugard 1978: 73). Repealed by s 60 of the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act No 108 of 1991.

Black Labour Relations Regulation Amendment Act 70 of 1973

This Act was passed in response to a wave of strikes in 1972 and 1973 (Bendix 1989: 302) and included a limited right to strike. Previously Black workers had been completely prohibited from striking. Repealed by s 63 of the Labour Relation Amendment Act No 57 of 1981.

Black Laws Amendment Act No 7 of 1973

Designed to speed up the planning for partial consolidation of homelands. The 1927 Black Administration Act was amended so that ?a removal order might be served on a Bantu Community as well as on a tribe or portion thereof? (Horrell 1978: 205). If a tribe refused to move, and Parliament approved the plan, the tribe was unable to appeal to Parliament. Commenced: 21 March 1973. Repealed by the Abolition of Influx Control Act No 68 of 1986.

Legal Aid Act No 2 of 1973

Provided legal aid for Blacks, which was absent in the South African setting. Commenced: 24 August 1973

Prisons Act No 6 of 1974

Set out prison services in Transkei. Commenced: 1 August 1975

Riotous Assemblies Amendment Act No 30 of 1974

Redefined ?gathering? and removed the reference to ?public?. A gathering could comprise any number of persons. Commenced: 15 March 1974. Sections 1-8 and 11 repealed by the Internal Security Act No 74 of 1982.

IN FORCE: Sections 9 and 10 (dealing with ss 16-18 of the Riotous Assemblies Act No 17 of 1956): CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE.

Affected Organisations Act No 31 of 1974

Provided for the declaration of Affected Organisations. Such organisations could not solicit foreign funds. Commenced: 15 March 1974. Repealed by s 7 of the Abolition of Restrictions on Free Political Activity Act No 206 of 1993.

Second General Law Amendment Act No 94 of 1974

As amended by Acts No 87 of 1977, No 99 of 1978, No 74 of 1982, No 110 of 1983, Nos 84 & 95 of 1986 and No 101 of 1987:

Repealed the Masters and Servants Acts (1856-1910). Section 1 of this Act prohibits any words or acts intended to cause feelings of hostility between different population groups of the Republic. Section 2 prohibits the furnishing of information about business carried on in or outside the Republic to any person outside the Republic without the permission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Commenced: 20 November 1974.

Proclamation No 86 of 1975

Provided that the Legislative Assembly could, by petition, request the State President to remove a minister from office and order the appointment of another. Commenced: 29 April 1975

Name of Act of 1976

Inter-Cabinet Council formed by the Prime Minister with members drawn from the Coloured Persons Council and the Indian Council and the White cabinet. First meeting boycotted by the Coloured Labour Party (Dugard 1978: 101).

Bantu Administration Amendment Act No 2 of 1976

This Act was similar to the 1927 Black Administration Act [SA], with a few amendments.

Population Registration Act No 24 of 1976

Provided for census and citizenship rights in Transkei and for the compilation of a population register. Commenced: 4 March 1977

Citizenship of Transkei Act No 26 of 1976

Set out requirements for citizenship. Commenced: 4 March 1977

Parliamentary Internal Security Commission Act No 67 of 1976

Established a parliamentary Internal Security Commission and set out its functions. It differed little from the USA House Committee on Un-American Activities except that the South African law had more sanctions at its disposal (Dugard 1978: 173). Commenced: 21 May 1976. Repealed by s 7 of the Abolition of Restriction on Free Political Activity Act No 206 of 1993.

Internal Security Amendment Act No 79 of 1976

Removed the requirement that internment be linked with states of emergency. It amended five other Security Acts and embodied the 1967 Suppression of Communism Act with some amendments. The ?Sobukwe? clause for indefinite detention was deleted and a new provision for indefinite preventive detention was created instead. A Review Committee was established to review detentions within two months and could recommend further detention. Prohibition of bail and detention of potential witnesses were provided for. Restrictions on movement of banned persons were included. Commenced: 16 June 1976. Repealed by the Internal Security Act No 74 of 1982 and the Internal Security and Intimidation Amendment Act No 138 of 1991 except for s 10. Section 10 was repealed by the State of Emergency Act No 86 of 1995.

Extension of the Application of Transkeian Laws Act No 6 of 1976

Attempted to define areas of function for Transkeian laws. Commenced: 19 July 1976

Republic of Transkei Constitution Act No 15 of 1976

Created a Transkei Constitution. Commenced: 20 October 1976

Community Councils Act No 125 of 1977

Provided for the establishment of community councils, and for civil and criminal judicial powers to be conferred in certain Black townships.

Assent gained: 11 July 1977; commencement date not found. Repealed by s 56 A of the Black Local Authorities Act No 102 of 1982.

Proclamation R174:

(Government Gazette 5716 of 19 August 1977) Laid down certain regulations for the administration of declared security districts in Bophuthatswana (SRR 1977: 1-2).

Proclamation R 252:

Gave the government of Ciskei powers to declare a State of Emergency. Powers repealed by the 1982 National Security Act, below (SRR 1977: 348-9).

Indemnity Act No 2 of 1977

Retrospective to 16 June 1976. Commenced: 16 March 1977


Criminal Procedure Act No 51 of 1977

Consolidates the law relating to procedure in criminal proceedings. Repeals the 1955 Criminal Procedure Act and its numerous amendments except for ss 319(3) and 384. Commenced: 22 July 1977

IN FORCE (as amended by the Criminal Procedure Second Amendment Act No 75 of 1995): CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE.

Intelligence Service and State Security Council Act No 16 of 1977

Provided for a state security advisory board in which South Africa played a role. Commenced: 22 July 1977

Military Discipline Act No 23 of 1977

Specified punishment for military disobedience. Commenced: 12 August 1977

Aliens and Travellers Control Act No 29 of 1977

Provided for the control and monitoring of aliens, and for refusal of entry. Commenced: 18 August 1978

Acquisition of Immovable Property Control Act No 21 of 1977

Provided for state expropriation and other powers. Commenced: 2 September 1977

Labour Relations Act of 1977

Transkei?s equivalent of the Labour Relations Act [SA]. Commenced: 1 October 1977

Labour Act No 14 of 1977

Set out further requirements for labour in Transkei.Commenced: 1 October 1977

Wage Act No 15 of 1977

Provided for a minimum wage and wage regulation bodies. Commenced: 1 October 1977

Public Security Act No 30 of 1977

Repealed all security laws applicable in South Africa (including the 1950 Suppression of Communism Act, the 1930 Riotous Assemblies Act and the 1960 Unlawful Organisations Act). Further, it repealed the Proclamation 400 of 1960 but retained some of its provisions (Horrell 1978: 230; SRR 1977: 336; Dugard 1978: 96). Commenced: 7 October 1977. Sections 44 and 45 repealed by the State of Emergency Act No 86 of 1995.

Newspaper and Imprint Registration Act No 19 of 1977

Required newspapers to be registered and conform to a code of conduct. Commenced: 28 October 1977

Riotous Assemblies Amendment Act of 1978

This Actamended the 1956 Riotous Assemblies Act [SA] and made provisions relating to the prohibition of gatherings and the dispersal of unlawful gatherings.

Marriage Act No 21 of 1978

Made further amendments to the Marriage Act No 4 of 1972, largely in keeping with South African trends. Commenced: 2 July 1979

Publication Act No 18 of 1978

Provided for state-sanctioned censorship.Commenced: 14 April 1978

Proclamation No 276:

Passed in response to an outbreak of trouble in Venda schools. It is ?identical to Proclamation 252 of the Ciskei except that an additional clause includes in the definition of subversive statements or actions, the threatening of a scholar or by any means influencing him to refrain from attending classes or sitting for any examination? (SRR 1977: 360).

Undesirable Organisations Act No 9 of 1978

Granted the state power to act against illegal organisations. Commenced: 19 May 1978

Blacks (Urban Areas) Amendment Act No 97 of 1978

Introduced a ninety-nine-year leasehold system. Full ownership was not attainable until 1986. Commenced: 17 November 1978. Repealed by s 17 of the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act No 108 of 1991.

Commission of Inquiry into Alleged Irregularities in the Department of Information of 1978-1979

Mandate: To evaluate and make findings and recommendations on certain evidence of alleged irregularities in the former Department of Information which had come to light through other authorities and through the press; and [for the supplementary report] to extend the inquiry into new facets and areas brought to light in the course of the Commission?s first inquiry. Date of Report: 1978, supplementary report 1979

Chair: ERASMUS, R.P.B. Ref: RP 63/1979 (supplementary report)

Education and Training Act No 90 of 1979

Repealed the Bantu (Black) Education Act No 47 of 1953 and the Bantu Special Education Act No 24 of 1964. Commenced: 1 January 1980

IN FORCE (as amended by Educators Employment Act No 138 of 1994): EDUCATION.

Births and Deaths Registration Act No 20 of 1979

Specified persons who could be registered as Transkeian citizens by birth. Commenced: 3 October 1980

Commission of Inquiry into Labour Legislation of 1979

Mandate: To inquire into, report on and make recommendations in connection with the following matters:

  1. Industrial Conciliation Act, 1956
  2. Bantu Labour Relations Regulation Act, 1953
  3. Wage Act, 1957
  4. Factories, Machinery and Building Work Act, 1941
  5. Shops and Offices Act, 1964
  6. Apprenticeship Act, 1944
  7. Training of Artisans Act, 1951
  8. Bantu Building Workers Act, 1951
  9. Electrical Wiremen and Contractors? Act, 1939
  10. Workmen?s Compensation Act, 1941
  11. Unemployment Insurance Act, 1966
  12. Registration for Employment Act, 1945

The mandate was extended to include:

  1. Mines and Works Act, 1956 or any other act administered by the Department of Mines. Date of Report: 1979/1990,

The report was made in six parts (see separate references below)

  • Chair: WIEHAHN, N.E.
  • Ref: Part 1: RP 47-79 (E&A)
  • Part 2: RP 38-80 (E&A)
  • Parts 3 & 4: RP 82-80 (E), RP 87-80 (A)
  • Part 5: RP 27-81(E&A)
  • Part 6: RP 28-81 (E&A).

Commission of Inquiry, 1979, into the Riots at Soweto and Elsewhere from 16 June 1976 to 28 February 1977

Mandate: To inquire into and report on the riots at Soweto and other places in the Republic during June 1976, and their causes.

Date of Report: 1979, Chair: CILLI- P.M. Ref: RP 55/1980 (E), RP 106/1979 (A)

Republic of Bophuthatswana Constitution Further Amendment Act No 21 of 1979

Provided for the detention of individuals ?in the interests of national security or public safety? (s 12(g)). Commenced: 9 March 1979.

Internal Security Act No 32 of 1979

Empowered Government to declare an organisation unlawful and to control the distribution of publications. Meetings of more than twenty persons were declared unlawful unless authorised by the magistrate. This Act repealed the whole of the 1950 Internal Security Act [SA] and related Acts, with the exception of the 1960 Unlawful Organisations Act which declared that any organisation which threatened public safety was unlawful. Included in this category were the ANC and the PAC (SRR 1979: 312). Commenced: 27 April 1979

Sections 27-9 inclusive repealed by the State of Emergency Act No 86 of 1995 [SA]

State Land Disposal Act No 23 of 1979

Set out mechanisms for the disposal of state land. Commenced: 8 June 1979

Police Act No 16 of 1979

Granted the police further powers with regard to search and seizure. Commenced: 3 August 1979

Republic of Venda Constitution Act No 9 of 1979

Provided for a Venda Constitution. Commenced: 13 September 1979

Industrial Conciliation Amendment Act No 94 of 1979

Permitted certain Blacks, excluded under the 1953 Act, to join unions. However, the exclusion of migrant workers and frontier commuters remained in force until it was lifted in the Government Gazette No 6679 of 28 September 1979 (SRR 1979: 285). This Act prohibited the existence of mixed trade unions (SRR 1979: 281) and repealed s 77 of the 1956 Act (see above) regarding job reservation (SRR 1979: 282). Commenced: 1 October 1979. Repealed by the Labour Relations Act No 66 of 1995.

Last updated : 12-Apr-2012

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