Apartheid in ACTion: Separate Representation of Voters Amendment Act

On June 18th 1951, the National Party introduced the Separate Representation of Voters Amendment Act in order to remove coloureds from the common voters’ roll. 

When the act was first introduced, it was declared invalid by the Supreme Court. Unhappy with the decision, the South African government was able to avoid this decision by increasing the number of Appellate Division judges from five to eleven, and increasing the size of the Senate from forty-eight to forty-nine. After a re-validation of the amendment, the new bill introduced the Coloured Persons Representative Council. The counsel consisted of forty elected members and twenty nominated members. This council could make laws concerning topics such as finance, pensions, and education, which affected only coloured people.

 The government is acknowledging the coloured community by giving them the right to vote and have a say in the government, yet they still are separated from the other communities. There would be less confusion, and less work needed to be done on the government’s side if everyone in the country were taken into consideration as one national community instead of separate racial ones. This act just set the boundary lines for the government to slowly isolate them from the rest of the nation.


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