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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1951 - Separate Representation of Voters Act No 46

Fine & Davis (1990: 107f) refer to this as the VOTERS REPRESENTATION ACT, while Davenport (1987: 364ff), Riley (1991: 25, and elsewhere) and others refer to it as SEPARATE REPRESENTATION OF VOTERS ACT.

It sought to remove the Coloured voters from the common electoral rolls (Lapping 1986: 144f). See the ASIATIC LAW AMENDMENT ACT of 1948.

While still a bill, it provided for "the removal of all Cape Coloureds from the present electoral roll; the drawing up of a new electoral roll for Coloured males able to meet the existing literacy and property qualifications; the holding of separate elections for those on the Coloured roll to select four Whites to represent them in the House of Assembly, one in the Senate and two in the Cape Provincial Council; the establishment of a Board of Coloured Affairs to advise the government on Coloured matters and to act as an intermediary between the Coloured community and the government. The II-member board would be under the direction of a White commissioner and would be made up of eight Coloureds elected in the Cape, and three nominated by the government to represent Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal" (Riley 1991: 25). However, it was invalidated by the Supreme Court in 1952 since it had been passed without a two-thirds majority in the Senate. The government thus performed some legal acrobatics over the passing years: first they tried to make the parliament the highest court of appeal which failed (see the HIGH COURT OF PARLIAMENT ACT of 1952), after which they simply changed the constitutional system so as to provide for a sufficient majority (see the APPELLATE DIVISION QUORUM ACT of 1955 and the SENATE ACT of 1955). Thus the SEPARATE REPRESENTATION OF VOTERS ACT was revalidated by the SOUTH AFRICA AMENDMENT ACT of 1956 and the SEPARATE REPRESENTATION OF VOTERS AMENDMENT ACT of 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.