General South African History Timeline: 1910s
- Anti-Indian Legislation: The Public Servants Superannuating Act and Teachers Pensions Act.
- This furthers discrimination against Indians.
- Anti-Indian Legislation: The Immigrants Regulation Act of the Union of South Africa
- The Immigrants Regulation Act of the Union of South Africa consolidates existing Immigration laws of the pre-Union colonies and excludes immigration of all persons to the Union considered unsuitable on economic grounds or on account of standard or habits of life. The Act as amended in 1913 and 1937 excludes all Immigration of Asians to South Africa, except that of wives and minor children of those already domiciled in the country.
- Public Servants Superannuating Act and Teachers Pensions Act. Discrimination against Indians.
- South Africa Act, 1909 (Sections 26, 35, 44, 147 and 151) leaves anti-Indian and other discriminatory legislation against black groups intact.
- The Immigrants Regulation Act of 1910 consolidates existing immigration laws of the pre-Union colonies and excludes immigration of all persons to the Union considered unsuitable on economic grounds or on account of standard or habits of life. The Act, as amended in 1913 and 1937, prohibits all immigration of Asians to South Africa, except that of wives and minor children of those already domiciled in the country.
- Hermann Kallenbach gives Tolstoy Farm at Lawley for use of satyagrahi families.
- 26 February, Mahatma Gandhi supports the African Peoples Organisations resolution to declare the day of arrival of the Prince of Wales in South Africa as a day of mourning in protest against the South Africa Acts disenfranchisement of Indians, Coloureds and Africans in the upcoming Union of South Africa.
- 31 May, Dr. Walter Rubusana (African) and Dr. Abdullah Abdurahman (Coloured) elected to Cape Provincial Council.
- Mines and Works Act (established `Color Bar' in employment).
Universal Races Congress in London (John Tengo Jabavu and Walter Rubusana present).
- Mines and Works Act No 12:
- Permitted the granting of certificates of competency for a number of skilled mining occupations to whites and coloureds only.
Repealed by s 20 of the Mines and Works Amendment Act No 27 of 1956
- Albert Luthuli starts his education at the Groutville School
- 3 January, The Government of India announces in the Viceroy's Council that emigration to Natal is prohibited with effect from 1 July.
- 13 March, The Colonial-Born and Settlers Indian Association is formed at a meeting in Durban and has at its aim to fight the infamous 3 poll tax. R.N. Moodley of Pietermaritzburg is the chairman of the meeting and among those present are Lutchman Panday, A. Christopher, S.K. Pather, K.R. Nayanah and H.S.L. Polak.
- 27 April, Indian passive resistance is suspended when Gen. J.C. Smuts enters into negotiations with Mahatma Gandhi.
- 24 October, Pixley ka I. Seme proposed "Native Union"
- 112 stands are transferred to Indians. By 1934 the racial character of Pageview had changed a great deal by becoming racially mixed as a result of the unavailability of other legal, urban, 'non-white' living areas.
- Start of the publication of Abantu-Batho (The People), newspaper of the South African Native National Congress.
- Afrikaaner Nationalist Party formed by General Hertzog - pledged to achieve republican independence for South Africa and a return to doctrines of apartheid.
- 8 January, Chiefs, representatives of people's and church organisations, and other prominent individuals gathered in Bloemfontein and formed the African National Congress (then South African Native National Convention-SANNC). The ANC declared its aim to bring all Africans together as one people to defend their rights and freedoms.
- April, South African Races Congress formed under leadership of John Tengo Jabavu.
- 18 May, SISULU: Walter Ulyate Max Sisulu is born in Engcobo District in the Transkei
- 14 October, Gopal Krishna Gokhale meets Prime Minister, General Louis Botha; General J. C. Smuts (then Minister of Finance, Defence and Mines) and Abraham Fischer (Minister of the Interior.) Gokhale negotiates with the Union Government on behalf of South African Indians and obtains promises that are not kept.
- 22 October, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, at invitation of Gandhi, arrives in South Africa on a 26-day tour. He also visits Tolstoy Farm.
- December, General J.B.M. Hertzog leaves Botha's cabinet.
- The Native Land Act formally divides land between black and white people.African women resist the imposition of residential passes, organising a passive resistance campaign that left many women jailed.
- African miners strike at Jagersfontein Diamond mine after one of their fellow-workers is kicked to death by a white overseer. White employees suppress the strike. 11 African mineworkers killed and 37 injured.
- African women resist the imposition of residential passes by the OFS municipality, organising passive resistance and thereby forcing the municipality to rescind its measure. Many women jailed.
- The Land Act sets up the 'reserves' (later called 'bantustans' and 'homelands') and effectively zones Africans to 13% of the total land area of South Africa (though they form 80% of the population). They are prevented from buying land outside these areas. Property sizes inside the reserves are also restricted. As a result of this Act, the majority of Africans could no longer live as subsistence farmers. There was not enough land for everyone. Africans were forced to work for wages on white farms or in the mines or factories. A basic level of education assisted this employment. The South African Native National Congress (later the ANC) is formed to protest against this Act. (Many of its early members were mission school graduates.
- January, Tolstoy Farm is closed.
- 14 March, In a judgement of the Cape Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Searle declares that marriages not celebrated according to Christian rites and/or not registered by the Registrar of Marriages, are invalid. All Moslem and Hindu marriages concluded according to traditional rites are therefore declared invalid.
- June, Natives Land Act :Emergency meeting of the South African Native National Congress Executive Committee to discuss Natives' Land Act.
- June, Anti-Indian Legislation: Immigrants Regulation Act (No 22 of 1913)
Persons not literate in a European language and undesirables, i.e. on economic grounds or on account of standards or habits of life, could be excluded from country. Minister of Interior classifies all Asiatic persons undesirable. Indian immigration stopped.
- June, The Immigrants Regulation Amendment Act, Act No. 22 of 1913, persons not literate in a European language and so-called undesirables (persons deemed undesirable on economic grounds or on account of standards or habits of life) could be excluded from country. The Minister of the Interior classifies all Asiatic persons undesirable and Indian immigration is halted indefinitely.
- 19 June, Black Land Act No 27:
- Prohibited blacks from owning or renting land outside designated reserves (approximately 7 per cent of land in the country).
Commenced: 19 June 1913
Repealed by s 1 of the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act No 108 of 1991.
- 19 June, The Land Act, Act No 27, is passed. The Act confines Africans to hopelessly overcrowded reserves and deprives them of rights to purchase land outside the native reserves
- July, White miners' general strike on the Witwatersrand.
- September, Indian 'general strike' and passive resistance
- 22 September, The first batch of Indian passive resisters, consisting of 12 men and 4 women (including Mrs. Kasturba Gandhi) are arrested at Volksrust and imprisoned in Pietermaritzburg.
- 23 September, Women protests take place in the Free State, led by Charlotte Maxeke resisting government attempts to impose passes on women. Passes are burnt in front of the municipal offices.
- 19 October, At a meeting of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) in Durban, NIC secretaries, M. C. Anglia and Dada Osman, severely criticise Mahatma Gandhi and tender their resignations. However, their resignations are not accepted and the meeting withdraws the NICs support of the passive resistance campaign. In reaction, Gandhi and his supporters withdraw from the meeting and form a new body, the Natal Indian Association (NIA), at Parsee Rustomjees house. The NIC would become defunct until its resuscitation in 1920.
- 21 October, Transvaal women satyagrahis begin defiance activities, hawking without licenses in Vereeniging. They are not arrested. They cross the Natal border and encourage the miners in Newcastle to strike. Phoenix satyagrahis, including five women who cross the Natal Transvaal border, are arrested and sent to prison in Pietermaritzburg.
- 28 October, Albert Christopher, Ruben Joseph and three other Colonial-born Indians leave Durban to assist in the strike area.
- November, Lord Hardinge delivers a speech in Madras, India, in which he expresses sympathy with the Indian passive resistance struggle in South Africa.
- 6 November, Great March led by MK Gandhi includes 127 women, 57 children and 2037 men
- 18 December, The Indian Inquiry Commission, also known as the Solomon Commission, commences its sittings in Pretoria.
- An ANC delegation visits Britain to protest the Land Act.
- Having completed Standard Four, Albert Luthuli continues his education at Ohlange Institute - a boarding school - under Dr. John Dube, the founding President of the South African Native National Council
- After only two terms at Ohlange, Albert Luthuli passes the end of year examinations and is transferred to a Methodist Institution at Edendale, near Pietermaritzburg
- January, General Strike of white workers called on the Witwatersrand. Martial law declared and strike leaders deported by General Smuts.
- Nationalist Party formed under leadership of General Hertzog.
- Riotous Assemblies and Criminal Law Amendment Act (directed against militant white trade unions).
- Delegation of South African Native National Congress travels to Great Britain to protest Natives' Land Act.
- Solomon Plaatje remains in England when other Congress delegates return.
- 14 January, The Gandhi-Smuts Agreement is reached between Gen. J.C. Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi.
- 20 January, The first group of Transvaal Indian women satyagrahis are released from Pietermaritzburg Prison after three months imprisonment. Among them is Valliamma Moonsamy Moodaliar.
- 27 January, A petition is written and submitted by the black and coloured women of the Orange Free State (OFS) against the carrying of passes by women.
- 10-11 February, In accordance with the understanding reached by General J.C. Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi on 14 January 1914, 60 passive resistance prisoners are released from the Pietermaritzburg Prison. In addition, 40 passive resisters are released in Durban, 8 in Newcastle and 11 in Port Elizabeth.
- 22 February, Sixteen-year-old Valliamma Mudaliar dies of a fever contracted in prison.
- 26 June, Anti-Indian Legislation: Indian Relief Act passed after a protracted period of Passive Resistance led by Gandhi, following the report of the Solomon Commission.
The Act abolished the 3 Poll tax, recognized marriages contracted in terms of traditional Hindu and Muslim rites, and facilitated the entry of wives into Union, but Indians still not allowed to own property in the two former republics (Transvaal & Orange Free State). Indians are not allowed to live in Orange Free State. Indian children of parents living in South Africa are allowed to immigrate.
Restrictions on trading not removed and Indians remain disenfranchised.
- 26 June, After a protracted passive resistance campaign led by Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian Relief Act is passed following the report of the Solomon Commission. The Act abolishes the 3 poll tax, recognises marriages contracted in terms of traditional Indian (Muslim or Hindu) rites, and facilitates the entry into the Union of the wives of Indians already domiciled locally. However, Indians remain disenfranchised and are still not allowed to own property in the two former Boer Republics (Transvaal and the Orange Free State), or to live in the Orange Free State. Furthermore, restrictions on Indian trading remain in force.
- 18 July, Mahatma Gandhi leaves South Africa for London.
- August, World War I begins.
- Revolt by anti-war Afrikaner nationalists.
- John Tengo Jabavu opposes Walter Rubusana in Cape Provincial elections.
- 4 August, Britain, and automatically South Africa as part of the British Empire, declares war against Germany and so enters into the First World War. Mahatma Gandhi arrives in London
- The "anti-war" internationalist section in an effort to stand for all South Africans without any colour distinctions, founds the International Socialist League (ISL).
- The foundation of the International Socialist League, by the 'anti-war' internationalist section who broke away from the white Labour Party. It stood for full rights for all and socialism, embracing all South Africans without distinction of colour or class.
- 21 December, 2,800 African miners strike at the Van Rhyn Deep mines in a bid to redress some of their grievances.
- The Beaumont Commission tours The Union of South Africa, trying to find areas that could be incorporated into the reserves, without disturbing white farming.
- Dedication of the South African Native College at Fort Hare.
Report of the Native Lands (Beaumont) Commission.
- Solomon Plaatje's Native Life in South Africa published.
- The Durban & District Native Football Association is established.
- October, At a meeting in Pietersburg, the ANC describes the report of the Beaumont commission as unsatisfactory.
- Industrial Workers of Africa founded by the International Socialist League.
- The Natives Administration Bill
- The `Industrial Workers of Africa' founded by the ISL in Johannesburg, the first industrial African trade union to be formed.
- South African Native National Congress Executive Committee splits, with John Dube accepting theory of territorial segregation. Samuel Makgatho assumes office as president.
- Albert Luthuli completes a teacher's training course at Edendale and becomes principal and sole staff member of a tiny intermediate school in Blaauwbosch, Natal
- The Indian Printers Union and the Indian Workers Union (IWU) formed. The Union's respective secretaries are colonial born Indians, M.K. Moodley and Rev B.L.E. Sigamoney.
- 16 February, A.H. West and others advise indentured workers in Natal not to re-indenture but to become free men.
- March, The Imperial War Conference, attended by representatives of Britain and the British Dominions, commences in London. India's attendance at the Conference raises the hope of Indians in the colonies that they now have some leverage to effect changes for equal treatment.
- March, Gordon Lee of the Industrial Socialist League (ISL) forms the Durban Workers Industrial Union. The Union enrols Indian members representing printing, tobacco, laundry, dock and municipal workers, miners, sugar slaves.
- 27 April, Sir Satyendra P. Sinha of India submits the so-called Reciprocity Resolution to the Imperial War Conference in London. The Conference unanimously accepts the principle of reciprocity between India and the Dominions. Sir Sinha's memorandum also includes grievances of South African Indians in connection with trading licences, the franchise, ownership of land and railway regulations.
- Women's anti-pass campaign led by the Bantu Women's League of South Africa, the then women's branch of the ANC.
- Anti-pass campaign by women ends in triumph. It was led by the then Bantu Women's League of South Africa - the Women's Branch of the ANC, formed by Charlotte Maxeke.
- The formation of the Bantu Women's League of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC)as a result of protests that occur in the Free State.
- A delegation is sent to Prime Minister Louis Botha to discuss the issue of Passes for black women.
- Rev. B.L.E. Sigamoney takes over the leadership of the Indian Worker's Union (IWU) from Gordon Lee and represents the Union at the Industrial Socialist League's annual conference.
- May, Bucket strike by African sanitary workers, 152 of which were sentenced to two months imprisonment for breach of contract, under the Masters and Servants Act.
- 21 May, In a letter to the Indian Opinion, the Cape British Indian Council calls for a national conference of Indian organisations.
- June, Strike of African sanitation workers in Johannesburg.
- Formal Status Quo Agreement between Chamber of Mines and white trade unions.
- 20 October, A.M. Cachalia dies and is succeeded by Ebrahim I. Asvat as elected Chairman of the Transvaal British Indian Association.
- 11 November, An armistice between the Allied and the Central Powers brings the First World War to an end.
- ANC delegation visits Britain to protest the Land Act for the second time.
- The ANC in Transvaal led a campaign against the passes.
- The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) - a general union formed.
- A protest is held in the OFS against the carrying of passes by women.
- Anti-Indian Legislation: Under Companies Act of 1909, Asiatics could purchase land from whites if they formed a company.
The Companies Act of 1909 is reneged in Krugersdorp:
i) Krugersdorp Municipal Council vs Dadoo Limited and Others transaction in which Company of Asiatics purchase land from white owner declared invalid
ii) Krugersdorp Municipal Council obtains interdict restraining a European firm, Messrs TW Beckett and Company from permitting residence of Indians on a Krugersdorp stand leased by the firm to an Indian tailor.
- Anti-Indian Legislation: The Asiatics (Land and Trading) Amendment Act (Transvaal), 37/1919.
Asiatics with rights to trade on property outside designated Asiatic Bazaars allowed to continue. New licences stopped. Asiatics can no longer acquire land through companies. Still able to acquire land through nominees. Register to be compiled of existing licences and businesses owned by Indians.
The Act is promulgated on 3 August.
- The South African Native National Council organises an anti-pass campaign. In Johannesburg alone, 700 arrests are made
- Reneging on the Companies Act of 1909, the Krugersdorp Municipal Council declares a transaction through which an Indian-owned company, Dadoo Limited, purchased land from a White owner, invalid. In addition, the Municipal Council obtains a court interdict restraining a European firm, Messrs TW Beckett and Company, from leasing a Krugersdorp stand to an Indian tailor. In reaction to these incidents, the Transvaal British Indian Association draws up a petition that directly leads to the establishment of a Select Committee of the House of Assembly to look into the acquisition of property in Transvaal by Indians through mortgages and shareholding in private companies.
- Formation of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU).
- January, Industrial and Commercial Union formed in Cape Town under leadership of Clements Kadalie.
- Demonstrations in Bloemfontein location.
- 7 January, Founding of the Industrial and Commercial Workers` Union of South Africa. Leader: Clements Kadalie.
- ANC organises a campaign on the Rand against the pass laws.
70,000 African miners strike against their whole status and pig-level existence. It is highly disciplined and organised and an alarmed government throws police cordons around each of the compounds, preventing coordination of demands and actions. Troops break through the workers` barricades, with bayonets fixed, killing 3 and wounding 40. Police and armed white civilians attack a meeting of solidarity with the striking miners, killing 8 and wounding 80.
- 20 January, The Cape British Indian Council invites Indian organisations to a South African Indian Conference.
- 26-30 January, The first South African Indian Conference, convened by the Cape British Indian Council, is held in Cape Town. John X. Merriman, the former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, opens the Conference. The Conference appoints a committee of 12 members to frame the constitution of an organisation to unite all South African Indians. In addition, the conference resolves to agitate for full civil rights and to resort to civil resistance until those rights are granted.
- 19 February, The first Pan African Congress is held in Paris, France and is headed by William Edward Durghardt Du Bois. A firm supporter of the Back to Africa movement in the United States of America, Marcus Garvey founds the African Communities League and the Black Star Line (part of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)), with the intention of bringing home the African Americans.
- March, Selby Msimang arrested.
- March - April, Anti-pass demonstrations on the Witwatersrand led by the South African Native National Congress.
- Constitution of the South African Native National Congress approved.
Bantu Union formed in Queenstown under leadership of Meshach Pelem.
- Delegation of South African Native National Congress travels to Great Britain and Europe to present African case at Versailles Peace Conference.
- 1 May, A Select Committee is established by the House of Assembly to look into the acquisition of property in Transvaal by Indians through mortgages and shareholding in private companies. Following the recommendations of Select Committee, the Asiatics (Land and Trading) (Transvaal) Amendment Act, Act No. 37 of 1919 is proclaimed. Asiatics with rights to trade on property outside designated Asiatic Bazaars are allowed to continue to do so, but a register would be compiled of existing licences and businesses owned by Indians and no new licences would be issued. Asiatics can also no longer acquire land through companies, but will still be able to acquire land through nominees.
- 12 May, The Transvaal British Indian Association calls a mass meeting to organise opposition to the proposed Asiatics (Land and Trading) (Transvaal) Amendment Act. In terms of the Act, Transvaal Indians are prohibited from owning shares in limited companies.
- July, A number of Indian leaders in the Transvaal sign a covenant pledging civil resistance. The signatories include the following officers of the Transvaal British Indian Association: E. I. Asvat, Chairman; N. A. Camay, Vice-Chairman; P.K. Naidoo and B. K. Patel, Joint Secretaries.
- The Transvaal Emergency Conference Committee is formed with E.I. Patel as Chairman and N.A. Camay and P.K. Naidoo as joint-secretaries. The Committee calls for a South African National Indian Emergency Conference.
- 3 August, The Asiatics Land and Trading (Transvaal) Amendment Act, Act No. 37 of 1919, is promulgated.
- 3-6 August
- The second South African Indian Conference is convened in Johannesburg by the Transvaal Emergency Conference Committee with the aim to create a national body to deal with threats to the rights of Indians. However, internal dissensions defeat the aims of the conveners of the Conference.
- 4-5 September
- The Anti-Asiatic League holds a congress in Pretoria with L.J. Philips, an attorney from Krugersdorp, as Chairman. The congress sets up the South African League under the leadership of Abe Bailey. The aims of the League are the expropriation of all immovable property held by Asiatics, as well as the removal of Asiatics that are residing and trading in the Transvaal.
- October, Dock strike by African and Coloured dockworkers in Cape Town led by the Industrial and Commercial Union under Clements Kadalie.
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