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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1955. Senate Act No 53

This act increased the number of nominated members in the Senate from 48 to 89 as well as changing the principle of selection so as to secur:e the seats for. the 'right' members (see Lapping 1986: 145). "There had prevIously been eIght senators elected from each province, eight nominated by the government, two elected and two nominated from South West Africa and four Native Representatives. Under the new ac~, the numb~r of senators ~om each province was based on its number of regIstered WhIte voters, whIle the number of appointed senators doubled to 16. The proportional representation was ended and the majority party in each province now gained all of the seats for that province" (Riley 1991: 47); the Senate thus became known as 'the Packed Senate'.

Thanks to this restructuring of the distribution of parliamentary power, the SEPARATE REPRESENTATION OF VOTERS ACT of 1951 was again revalidated, this time with the constitutionally required two-thirds majority. See 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.