The Housing Act is passed. This Act made funds available for the government to house the poor. “The resultant estates were required to be racially segregated, separated from one another by open spaces and with separate access roads” (Christopher, 1994: 38)

The Black (Native) Affairs Act is Passed. The Native Affairs Act was yet another spin-off of the South African Native Affairs Commissions report of 1905. It paves 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 1936 Representation of Natives Act extends the principle of separate, communally based political representation for Africans.

Albert Luthuli attends the Higher Teachers' Training Course at Adams College on a scholarship and joins the staff upon the successful completion of the course.

February, The South African National Native Congress (SANNC) helps to organise a strike of more than 40 000 African mineworkers on the Witwatersrand.


Josiah Gumede is appointed full-time General Organiser for the SANNC. His duties include touring the Union in search of financial assistance.

July,  John Dube attends the Second Pan-African Congress in London.

30 July – 1 August, The founding conference of the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) takes place in Cape Town and the party’s manifesto is adopted. The ISL joins other organisations to form the CPSA. William H. Andrews is elected as first General Secretary and Sidney Bunting is elected Treasurer and becomes editor of The International.


Inkatha kaZulu is formed as a cultural movement and gains the support of the Zulu monarchy. The cultural movements’ political iteration, Inkatha Freedom Party, would become a rival to the African National Congress (formerly the SANNC) at the end of the century, especially in Natal.


A SANNC delegation meets with the Prime Minister to protest the exclusion of African freehold title in the Urban Areas Bill.

The issue of pass laws is discussed at a Native Conference, held under the Native Land Act of 1920. Present at the conference is Selby Msimang, Sefako Mapogo Makgatho, Rev Z.R Mahabane, Thomas Mapikela, D.D.T Jabavu, Charlotte Maxeke, Dr. Molema, Selope Thema, Walton Fenyang, Meshach Pelem and S.F Zibi, amongst others. To read extracts from the conference click here.

28-29 May, At its annual conference the SANNC changes its name to the African National Congress (ANC). To read other resolutions made at this conference click here.


Rolihlahla Mandela attends the local one-roomed primary school near Qunu (receives his English name 'Nelson' from school teacher, Miss Mdingane).

On his deathbed, Gadla Mandela asks his cousin the paramount chief of the Tembu chief Dalindyebo to be Rolihlahla's guardian and take care of his education and upbringing. The regent accedes to his cousin's wish and assumes responsibility for the Rolihlahla's education

The Bill of Rights is adopted at the ANC’s national conference. The Conference also adopts Nkosi Sikelel’ i-Afrika (‘Lord Bless Africa’) as its anthem and a new flag, proposed by Thomas Levi Mvabaza, with “black for the people, green for the land and gold for the riches” (Benson, 1985: 46).

Alex La Guma, future leader of the South African Coloured People’s Organisation (SACPO), is born in Cape Town.


Prime Minister General Barry Hertzog introduces a Bill to eject Africans from the political system.

The Liquor Bill, Sections 107 and 144 is passed. As part of this Act Indians and Africans could not be employed by licence holders and are not allowed on licensed premises and liquor supply vehicles. Three thousand Indians employed in the brewery trade are affected.

23 May, Joe Slovo, central committee member of the SACP, MK Chief of Staff and post apartheid’s first Minister of Housing is born in Lithuania.


3 February, The second (and last) European-African Conference is sponsored by the Dutch Reformed Church. To read extracts of the conference report click here.

10 February, Josiah Gumede, representing the ANC, James La Guma, as a delegate for the CPSA, and Daniel Colrane, representing the South African Trade Union Congress; attend the first international conference of the League Against Imperialism in Brussels. At the end of the conference Gumede and La Guma travel to the Soviet Union.

15 April, At the Convention of Bantu Chiefs held under the auspices of the ANC, which attracts 22 chiefs, Josiah Gumede succeeds in having a proposal which condemns the ties between the CPSA and ANC withdrawn. To read other resolutions of the convention click here.

Josiah Gumede’s first statement as president of the African National Conference is published in The National Gazette.

30 September, The Immorality Act No 5 is passed. This Act forbade "extra-marital carnal intercourse ... between whites and Africans" (Dugard 1978: 70) The Act commenced on

30 September 1927. It was later extended in 1950 to include a ban on sexual relations between whites, Coloureds and Asians


February, The outcome of the meeting between James La Guma and Nikolai Bukharin, in Russia, is a new draft resolution sent back to South Africa “suggesting” the CPSA adopt a new slogan: “An independent Native republic as a step towards a workers’ and peasants’ government”. This leads an upsurge in membership of Africans in the Party.

Josiah Gumede supports the motion and this provokes the ANC.


Sidney Bunting and Edward Roux establish the League of African Rights and it is launched with Josiah Gumede as president, Bunting as chairman and Roux as joint secretary with Albert Nzula. This comes from a directive from the Comintern, however, at the end of the year a telegram arrives from Moscow ordering dissolution of the League.

14 June, National elections take place. Nationalists gain parliamentary majority, and General Hertzog forms a government without the aid of the South African Labour Party.

16 December, A protest march, organised jointly by the CPSA, ANC and ICU, is held in Cape Town and across the Rand in protest against the passing of the Riotous Assemblies Act. In a protest meeting in Potchefstroom attended by several thousand African and several hundred Whites, an African CPSA member, Hermanus Lethebe, is shot (and later dies in hospital) by a bullet intended for J.B Marks and E.T Motfutsanyana, the key-note speakers. Six other people are injured.

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