White women get the vote. This means in effect that the weight of the black vote is decreased from 3.1% to 1.4%. The first restrictions against the urbanisation of black women are introduced. The official government reasons for this are to decrease prostitution and illegal brewing in urban areas.
The African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General and Journalist attend the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) meeting. He urges the convocation to coordinate opposition to General Barry Hertzogs efforts to influence the British African policy.

3 February, Following problems over Indian trading rights and ownership of property in the municipal areas of Springs, Krugersdorp, and Norwood and Braamfontein in Johannesburg, the Minister of the Interior, Dr D.F. Malan, appoints a Select Committee to look into the questions of Indian trading rights and ownership of property in the Transvaal
13 May, The Select Committee, appointed in January 1930 to look into the questions of Indian trading rights and ownership of property in the Transvaal, publishes its report and makes the following recommendations:

1.'Asiatics' are in the future to be prevented from acquiring property in any form outside the areas set aside for them.

2.Sections 130 and 131 of the Gold Law is to be strictly enforced after 1 May 1930, even in townships like Springs which were held to be outside Gold Law.

3.Trading licenses are to be issued only to Asiatics who are the lawful owners of the premises that they occupy.

30 April, J.T. Gumede is voted out of office as President for being too close to the Communist Party, and is replaced by Pixley ka Isaka Seme. Chief Albert Luthuli, a future ANC President, commented later: “with his ascendancy, the African National Congress shifted several degrees rightwards into almost total moribundancy.”
June, Non-European Convention held in Kimberley as a climax to a campaign of protest meetings and resolutions against the pass laws and the Hertzog Bills. It is attended by more than 100 delegates representing the ANC, the APO, the Indian Congress, the Native Voters Association, the Bantu Union and religious and welfare societies from all over Southern Africa. Dr. Abdurahman elected to the chair.


July, Abantu-Batho (The People) ceases publication as an African National Congress organ.

December, Communist-sponsored pass-burning campaigns culminate in disturbances in Durban.


Pixley ka Isaka Seme outlines his reform scheme, desperately seeking to improve the financial matters of the ANC. He revives the Upper House and puts it in complete control of the Congress’ monetary affairs.

The Supreme Court removes Pixley Seme's name from the Roll of attorneys.

Yusuf Dadoo attends the South African Indian Congress meeting where the Transvaal Asiatic Land Tenure Act is discussed. He is convinced that the South African Indian Congress could only advance in their struggle if they cooperate with national organisations representing African and Coloured people.
4 January, A delegation of the Government of India arrives in South Africa for the second round-table conference with representatives of the South African Government. The delegation is led by Sir Fazli Hussein and the other members are V.S.S. Sastri, Sarojini Naidu, Sir Geoffrey Corbett, Sir Darcy Lindsay, Sir Kurma Reddi and G.S. Bajpai (Secretary).

12 January, The Second Round-table Conference between the Governments of India and South Africa opens in Cape Town. The South African delegation is led by the Minister of the Interior, Dr D.F. Malan, and includes the Minister of Land, Oswald Pirow, the Minister of Native Affairs, E.G. Jansen, and Patrick Duncan and G.H. Nicholls as representatives of the opposition South African Party.

12 January - 4 February, During the Second Round-table Conference between the Governments of India and South Africa, the South African Minister of the Interior, Dr D.F. Malan, indicates the failure of Cape Town Agreement with regards to the repatriation of Indians and introduces the Colonisation (Emigration) Scheme. In terms of this scheme, a Committee will be appointed to investigate possible outlets or areas abroad, to which South African Indians can be relocated. Malan also produces a signed document by South African Indian leaders, including Advocate Albert Christopher, P.R. Pather and Manilal Gandhi, in which cooperation in a colonising scheme is offered. This issue would later lead to a split in the South African Indian Community with the formation of the Colonial Born and Indian Settlers Association.

May, Pixley ka Isaka Seme publishes a pamphlet entitled “The African National Congress – Is it Dead?” as a response to attacks on his leadership.

June, The Transvaal Asiatic Land Tenure (Amendment) Act, Act No. 35 of 1932 becomes law. The Transvaal Asiatic Land Tenure Act and its subsequent amendments in 1934, 1935 and 1937 establish the statutory segregation of Indians in the Transvaal and end the state of uncertainty about their status in the Province that has existed since the passing of Law 3 of 1885.


Pixley Seme uses the votes of women to ensure his reelection as president of the African National Congress.
Albert Luthuli becomes President of the African Teachers' Association.

May, National elections. General Barry Hertzog and Jan Smuts form a coalition government after winning an overwhelming parliamentary majority. This fusion government was formed with General Hertzog as prime minister and General Smuts as deputy prime minister.

19 August - 20 August, The South African Indian Congress (SAIC) holds an Emergency Conference in Johannesburg. The Conference, opened by the Indian Agent-General, Kunwar Maharaj Singh, sanctions a policy of cooperation with the Young Committee and confirms the nomination of S. R. Naidoo to the Committee. Manilal Gandhi, Albert Christopher and Transvaal Indian Congress delegates C.K.T. Naidoo, B.L.E. Sigamoney, P.S. Joshi, E. Mall and S.B. Medh oppose the SAIC line.


Mandela is sixteen years old and together with other young men undergoes the traditional Xhosa initiation ceremony. The Initiation school is held on the banks of the Mbashe River.

Rolihlahla and his cousin Justice attend Clarkebury, a Wesleyan missionary school and at that time the biggest education centre in Tembuland. The school is run by Reverend C.C. Harris "...with an iron hand and an abiding sense of fairness", Mandela later remembered.

10 November, Pixley ka Isaka Seme publishes an article in Umteteli wa Bantu entitled “I Appeal to the African Nation
5 December, The United Party is officially formed with General J.B.M Hertzog as leader and Prime Minister and General Jan Smuts as deputy leader.


Govan Mbeki joins the ANC.

Albert Luthuli is elected Chief by the people of Groutville Mission Reserve, and he subsequently leaves Adam's College.
15-18 December, Five hundred delegates arrive for a convention of African organisations and register with the local committee at the office of Thomas. M. Mapikela, Chief Headman of all Bloemfontein locations. They meet at Community Hall, Bloemfontein. Under the chairmanship of Professor D.D.T Jabavu, delegates draft comprehensive resolutions on African grievances and resolve to constitute the All African Convention (AAC), an organised body that intends to promote African rights through boycotts. It is decided that the Convention should meet again in June, 1936.


After two years at Clarkebury, Mandela is sent further away to Healdtown, a bigger institution where he is taught an entirely Eurocentric curriculum focused on British history. His history teacher, Weaver Newana, adds his own oral history to the narratives about the previous century's frontier wars between the Xhosa and the British colonists.

He takes up boxing and long-distance running. The teaching staff is dedicated, but for the first time Mandela becomes aware that noble Christian values are contradicted by a tolerance and even support of the racist colonial system. The missionaries believe they are saving the souls of black people and reject traditional rituals and customs as 'superstitions'. Still, "I believe their benefits outweighed their disadvantages", he later recalls.

The Hertzog Bills remove black voters from the common voters' roll. The tabling of these Bills elicits anger and a call for united black opposition. At the time Mandela and his friends are shielded from the intense debate that these Bills elicited amongst the black elite in particular.

The government sets up a Commission of Inquiry into African education. The Commission points to problems with the system, but virtually nothing is done to improve the system.

Dr. Yusuf Dadoo returns to practice in South Africa after obtaining a medical degree in Edinburgh.

The AAC’s Executive Committee deputation led by Professor D. D. T Jabavu meets with Prime Minister J.B.M. Hertzog and other government officials in Cape Town to discuss acts tabled in Parliament in 1935. Prime Minister Hertzog refuses to allow postponement in the passing of some of the Bills and having some of the Act looked at again. The AAC deputation reaffirms its opposition to the Bills in the strongest possible manner; as it did in its meeting in December 1935.

May, The Native Trust and Land Act, No 18 becomes a law. This Act compliments the Representation of Natives Act of 1936 in that it allows for an extension of land that formed part of the reserves (as set out in the 1913 Land Act) from 7.3% to 13%. It also establishes the South African Native Trust, which became the Bantu Trust and then later the Development Trust. The Act forbade ‘Natives’ from owning and/or purchasing land outside the stipulated reserves.
26 September, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, lifetime opponent of apartheid and future President of the ANC Women’s League, is born in Bizana, Eastern Cape.

Mandela wins a prize for best Xhosa essay. He is thrilled when the noted Xhosa poet Krune Mqhayi visits the college, dramatically dressed in a traditional kaross of hide and carrying two spears, to recite his poem.


Black (Native) Laws Amendment Act No 46 prohibits acquisition of land in urban areas by Blacks from non-Blacks except with the Governor-General's consent (Horrell 1978: 3).  The Act also severely restricted the mobility of the Black population, and set a limit on "the size of the African urban population to the bare number needed for 'reasonable labour requirements' "(Simons & Simons 1969: 499).
The twenty-fifth year anniversary of the ANC marks the beginning of a transitional period in African politics. The ANC begins slowly to revive while continuing to employ tactics of representation through resolutions, deputations and meetings.

Dr. A.B Xuma visits the United States of America where he marries Madie Hall, a social worker in Atlanta, Georgia.
Multiple bills are proposed in Parliament which began the process of segregation. These include:

  • The Mixed Marriages Bill: This Bill aims to prohibit marriage between Asiatics, Europeans and Africans. It is not passed, but a Mixed Marriages Commission is later appointed.

  • The Provincial Legislative Powers Extension Bill: This Bill aims to refuse trading licenses to non-Europeans who employ White people.

  • The Transvaal Asiatic Land Bill: This Bill aims to deny right of owning property to any White woman married to a non-European.


Albert Luthuli visits India as one of several delegates to the International Missionary Conference in Tambaram, Madras, India.

5 November, Ronald (Ronnie) Kasrils, political activist, Minister of Intelligence and Member of Parliament in the new South Africa, is born in Yeoville, Johannesburg.


January, Mandela enrolls at the South African Native College at Fort Hare near Alice in the Eastern Cape. Mandela's nephew Kaizer Matanzima, is also attending Fort Hare and they become close friends, though in later years they would become political opponents. Matanzima remembered, 'The two of us were very handsome young men, and all the women wanted us'.

Rev. James Calata tours the union in the hope that dormant ANC branches could be revived.

Govan Mbeki publishes Transkei in the Making a work of political analysis which is deeply critical of the system of local government in the Transkei.

1 September, Germany invades Poland and the Second World War commences when Britain declares war on Germany on 3 September. The outbreak of war causes an internal split in the United Party as General J.B.M Hertzog wants to remain neutral. He eventually resigns as Prime Minister and rejoins the National Party (becomes the Reformed National Party) with D.F. Malan as his deputy.

4 September, General J.C. Smuts becomes Prime Minister of South Africa for the second time.

5 September, Parliament narrowly approves Prime Minister General Jan Smuts’ motion that South Africa should enter the Second World War on the side of Britain and the Allies.

6 September, The Union of South Africa declares war on Germany.

October, In an attempt to get the support of Africans for the South African war effort, the Union Government tones down its segregationist rhetoric and decides not to proceed with anti-Indian legislation during the Second World War. Following an informal understanding between H.G. Lawrence, the new Minister of the Interior, and Sir Benegal Rama Rau, the Indian Agent-General, the Union Government further indicates that an inquiry will be made to establish the extent of Indian penetration of de facto White areas, and that the cooperation of the Indian community was required to ensure that the status quo is maintained and that no new cases of penetration would take place.

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