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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1911. Mines & Works Act No 12

This act (with/without/or its amendments) is sometimes referred to as the COLOUR BAR or the COLOUR BAR ACT (see, for instance, Davenport 1987; and Crush et al. 1991: 7). The term colour bar, however, usually "refers to a group of labor practices, informal trade union practices, government regulations, and legislation, all of which were developed over time to prevent blacks from competing for certain categories of jobs monopolized by whites" (Crush et al. 1991: 214, note 14).

At any rate, this act included various regulations which gave "white workers a monopoly of skilled operations" (Thompson 1990: 167). However, "The Act did not specify that blacks should be discriminated against in any way. Indeed it made no mention of race or colour. Nor did it specifically and clearly give the government Mining Engineer powers to introduce a legal colour bar. But under section 4(n) it gave the Governor-General powers to grant, cancel and suspend certificates of competency to mine managers, mine overseers, mine surveyors, mechanical engineers, engine-drivers and miners entitled to blast. It also gave him the power to decide which other occupations should be required to possess certificates of competency" (Allen 1992: 201). See also the MINES & WORKS REGULATIONS ACT of 1912 and the MINES & WORKS AMENDMENT ACTS of 1926 & 1956.

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.