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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 13

Volume 3

Chapter 1

Subsection 8

1946 Asiatic Land Tenure Act is passed. The police crush a strike by African mineworkers.
1947 The Security Branch of the South African Police (SAP) is formed.
1948 The Herenigde National Party (NP) wins a majority of seats. DF Malan becomes Prime Minister.
1949 Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act is passed.
1950 The Group Areas Act provides for areas to be declared for the exclusive use of one particular racial group and makes it compulsory for people to live in an area designated for the group under which they were classified. The Suppression of Communism Act prohibits organisations and people from promoting Communism. Later amendments extend the prohibition to cover any efforts to overthrow the state and provide for the banning of meetings and people, the receiving of donations, the prohibition on people practising law and deportations. The Population Registration Act provides for the classification of all South Africans into one of four racial groups. The Immorality Act prohibits sexual relations across the colour bar.
1951 The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act grants magistrates the power to evict squatters from urban areas and to demolish their dwellings.
1952 The ANC launches the Defiance Campaign. The Native Laws Amendment Act is enacted. The Abolition of Passes Act introduces reference books for Africans.
1953 The Public Safety Act provides for a state of emergency to be declared. The Minister of Law and Order, the commissioner of the SAP, a magistrate or a commissioned officer can detain any person for reasons of public safety. A magistrate or the commissioner of police can ban meetings and gatherings. (The Act is passed in response to the civil disobedience campaign of the ANC and invoked for the first time after the Sharpville Massacre on 21 March 1960.) The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act is passed. The Bantu Education Act introduces a system of education for African people designed to provide them only with skills that will serve the white economy.
The Communist Party of South Africa dissolves and is reconstituted as the South African Communist Party (SACP).
1954 The Natives’ Resettlement Act marks the beginning of the creation of exclusively African urban townships.
1955 The Freedom Charter is adopted by the Congress of the People in Kliptown, Transvaal.
1956 Coloured voters are removed from the common voters’ roll. The Riotous Assemblies Act prohibits certain public open air gatherings.
The Treason Trial begins. 156 accused are charged with high treason. (The trial continues for five years during which charges are withdrawn against all but thirty-four. They are all acquitted in 1961).
In August, 20 000 women march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the extension of passes to African women.
1957 The Group Areas Act consolidates the law relating to the establishment of group areas and control of the acquisition of immovable property in those areas.
1958 Hendrik F Verwoerd becomes Prime Minister.
 
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