About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1949. South African Citizenship Act

"South Africa renounced common citizenship arrangements existing among members of the Commonwealth and suspended the automatic granting of citizenship to immigrants from the member nations. Citizenship by registration caused the greatest controversy as it affected recent immigrants. The interior minister reserved the right to grant or withhold citizenship without recourse to the courts. A certificate of citizenship would be granted to a person who had passed a still undefined test on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship" (Riley 1991: 17).

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.