separate amenities act 300 words essay

separate amenities act 300 words essay

The Separate Amenities Act, (Act No. 49) of 1953, was part of South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation. The Act made racial segregation in public places, vehicles, and services legal. The Act only applied to public roads and streets. Section 3b of the Act stated that different races’ facilities did not have to be equal, whereas Section 3a made it legal not only to provide segregated facilities, but also to completely exclude people based on their race from public premises, vehicles, or services. In practice, whites were given the best facilities, while other races were given subpar ones.

Durban beach sign in English, Afrikaans, and Zulu saying “Whites only” Municipalities quickly used the Act to pass bylaws restricting certain areas to whites only. The South African Parliament voted to repeal the Act on 20 June 1990 , and it was finally repealed by the Discriminatory Legislation Regarding Public Amenities Repeal Act on 15 October 1990. The Johannesburg Zoo and Zoo Lake were notable exceptions to the Act’s implementation of segregation.

Segregation was not permitted due to requirements in the “Deed of Gift” under which the land for the zoo and lake was acquired, and thus the zoo and public park where the lake is located were open to all races from the time they were established. Already in 1948, ‘Whites Only’ or ‘Blankes Alleen’ signs had appeared “appeared in every possible location Taxis, ambulances, hearses, buses, trains, elevators, benches, lavatories, parks, church halls, town halls, cinemas, theatres, cafes, restaurants, and hotels, as well as schools and universities, have all confirmed or imposed segregation ” (Thompson 1990: 197). One of its numerous amendments was enacted in 1960.

This act, as amended, “sought to create separate social environments for White and other population groups.” However, because “a court had ruled that segregation was not lawful if public faculties for different racial groups were not equal (as in waiting rooms at railroad stations),” Parliament passed the RESERVATION OF SEPARATE AMENITIES ACT to legalise such inequality.


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