Parliament passes legislation separating the people of South Africa into four distinct races


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Tuesday, 13 June 1950

The National Assembly voted in favour of the separation of  the people of South Africa into four distinct races (White, Black, Coloured, and Indian) through the Population Registration Act No. 30 of 1950. It further voted to divide South Africa into separate areas (for the exclusive use of each race) through the Group Areas Act No. 41 of 1950. Both these Acts commenced on 7 July, 1950. On 20 February, 1950 the Population Registration Act was read for the first time in Parliament. Subsequently, it became the cornerstone of the Apartheid policy. An office was set up to oversee the classification process.

• South African History Online, ‘The Population Registration Bill is read for the first time’, [online], available at (Accessed: 17 May 2013)
• Boddy-Evans, A. ‘This Day in African History: 13 May’, from About African History, [online], available at (Accessed: 17 May 2013)

Last updated : 12-Jun-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 07-Jun-2013