The Native Laws Amendment Act

The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act was one of the first acts of Apartheid. This act made it illegal for people of different races to marry. The Government probably passed this act as eventually it would help classify many children who have just been born in the future. There was also the Immorality Amendment Act (passed in 1950) which tied in with the MM act, which banned sex between the races. Although the Government thought this would make classification easier in the future, both Whites and Blacks disliked this law and `illegal' sex did go on unseen. The next important Act passed by the Government was the Group Areas

Act which gave the Government the right to declare certain `areas' for Whites only and move blacks out, if they liked it or not. This act was another way of separating Blacks from Whites. The Suppression of Communism Act contains a very important provision relating to Apartheid although on the face of it, it had nothing to do with the subject. This act banned people (Black OR White) from promoting disturbances aimed to bring about political change, in other words, people could not demonstrate against apartheid. Both the Native Laws Amendment Act and the Abolition of Passes Act controlled the movement of Blacks in and out of cities.

The Native Laws Amendment Act Started the procedure of controlling the whereabouts of Blacks and the Abolition of Passes Act reinforced and tightened the rules about the movement of Blacks by issuing passes to all of the Black people containing their personal details and their racial group. Without a pass, everything was illegal, and renewing one often involved queuing outside government buildings for days on end. This law was pretty much hated by all of the black people and was reinforced by multiple police raids. The Bantu Education Act brought Black education fully under the Government.

Black schools had to provide totally different education courses for Blacks than the Whites, and instead of being taught in English the children were taught in their Ethnic language. In one sense teaching the children in their native language sounds good, because it preserves the language and the identity for the future.

On the other hand, however, the failure to ensure that the Blacks learnt English had the result that the Blacks moved further away from the mainstream of society in South Africa where the predominant language WAS English. In 1948 the position was this: Black people had a relativly free life and could move around their country as the Whites did. By 1953 the Black people were `demoted' in life. They could not move without revealing all there personal details to an officer, they were not allowed to marry White or indeed have sex with a White AND they were not taught in the same quality as whites (they were taught different courses in their OWN language). By 1955 the position had got worse. The effect of Tomlinson's report was not only further demoting the whole of the Black population to a position far below the Whites but was also destroying the rights that Blacks had previously enjoyed.