Essay On Pass Laws

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Pass Laws in South Africa During the apartheid era in South Africa, Pass laws could be classified as an internal passport system that was made to separate the population, limit black African movement, control urbanisation and distribute migrant labour. Blacks were obliged to carry pass books with them when travelling in designated areas outside their homelands at all times and if caught without it would immediately be arrested and sent to a rural area. Pass books were mainly carried by black men and attempts for women to carry it in the 1910’s and 1950’s was met with significant protests. The passports were first introduced in South Africa on 27 June 1797 by the Earl Macartney to exclude all natives from the Cape Colony and lasted as the most dominated feature of…show more content…
The passes were similar to identification documents today and contained the personal information of the bearer such as his fingerprints, photograph, the name of their employer, their address, how long they had been employed and other personal information. A behavioural evaluation was often entered by the employer, on the conduct of the pass holder. A bearer of a pass found without a valid entry would be arrested and put in prison. The passes were often called the “Dompas” and resistance to the pass laws led to thousands of arrests, the Sharpeville Massacre and the arrest of Robert

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