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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

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1953. Native Labour Settlement of Disputes Act No 48

This is referred to as the BANTU LABOR RELATIONS REGULATION (BANTU LABOR [SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES]) ACT by Dugard (1978: 422), the BANTU LABOUR SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES ACT by Dyzenhaus (1991: 41, note 21), and the NATIVES SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES ACT by Nattrass (1993: 48).

It repealed WAR MEASURE 145 of 1942, which had been renewed annually since its creation (Nattrass 1993: 46).

In 1947, a bill issued by the government "sought to make trade unionism illegal and a criminal offence for Africans in mining, farming, railways, government and domestic service; outlaw all strikes by Africans; isolate them in segregated registered unions; prohibit them from forming unregistreted unions; and prevent any non-African or African alien from holding office without the minister's consent" (Simons & Simons 1969: 560). This met certain opposition though, and was thus never enacted. Parts of it were, however, incorporated into the NATIVE LABOUR SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES ACT, which introduced a formal system of racially segregated trade unions (Simons & Simons 1969: 560) and effectively made strikes by Africans "illegal in all circumstances" (Simons & Simons 1969: 557). See also the BANTU LABOUR REGULATIONS AMENDMENT ACT of 1973.

It also established "a Central Black Labour Board (whose members were appointed by the Minister of Labour) ... to represent the interests of African workers" (Nattrass 1993: 48).

This act was amended in 1959.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.