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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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1841. Masters & Servants Ordinance No 1

This repealed ORDINANCE 50 of 1828, and was itself later replaced by the MASTERS & SERVANTS ACT of 1856.

It "re-enacted the disciplinary code prescribed for apprenticed ex-slaves" (Simons & Simons 1969: 19) and "was the fIrst labour law to include workers of all races. The word 'servant' as defined included any person 'employed for hire, wages, or other remuneration to perform any handicraft or bodily labour in agriculture or manufactures, or in domestic services' " (Simons & Simons 1969: 20).

It also "imposed a penalty of twenty shillings for each month that a child, whether destitute or not, was illegally detained by an employer" (Marais 1938: 205). Penalties were to be payed "either to the child's parent (or guardians), or, in the case of destitute children, to the Magistrate" (Marais 1938: 205t).

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.