President F.W. de Klerk announces the Group Areas Act will be repealed.


President Willem de Klerk

Thursday, 19 April 1990

On 19 April 1990, President Frederick Willem de Klerk announced in Parliament that the Group Areas Act of 1950 will be replaced by new non-discriminatory measures acceptable to all Houses of Parliament.

The announcement meant a new dawn which brought liberty to many whom were affected by the enactment of the Group Areas Act. The Act vigorously dictated where people could live according to their ethnic groups. Developed areas were allocated to White people while Black, Coloured and Indian people were removed to areas outside the urban areas or to remote areas.

The announcement was part of the new legislation the government had planned to repeal major apartheid laws. To mention a few, the Land Act of 1913, the Population Registration Act were all to be amended with the Group Areas Act. Equally the Acts were discriminatory and segregating, this was in accordance with the apartheid policy. 

• The Item, (1990),’ Report: South African government will scrap major apartheid laws’, from The Item, 20 December [online], Available at [Accessed: 9 April 2014]
•  New York Times News Services (1991), ‘S.Africa Laws On Land Ownership Are Repealed’, from the Chicago Tribune News, 6 June [online], Available at [Accessed: 9 April 2014]

Last updated : 16-Apr-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 13-Apr-2012

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