Population Registration Act, 1950/1986-07-02

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Act

To make provision for the compilation of a Register of the Population of the Union; for the issue of Identity Cards to persons whose names are included in the Register; and for matters incidental thereto.



(Afrikaans Text signed by the Officer Administering the Government.)
(Assented to 22nd June, 1950.)


as amended by

Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 71 of 1956
Statistics Act, No. 73 of 1957
Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 30 of 1960
Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 61 of 1962
Black Laws Amendment Act, No. 42 of 1964
Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 64 of 1967
Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 106 of 1969
National States Citizenship Act, No. 26 of 1970
Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 29 of 1970
Population Registration and Identity Documents Amendment Act, No. 36 of 1973
Population Registration and Identity Documents in South-West Africa Amendment Act, No. 33 of 1977
Second Black Laws Amendment Act, No. 102 of 1978
Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 35 of 1980
Laws on Co-operation and Development Second Amendment Act, No. 94 of 1980
Population Registration Amendment Act, No. 101 of 1982
Population Registration and Elections Amendment Act, No. 103 1984
Identification Act, No. 72 of 1986

[In terms of s. 100 of Act No. 42 of 1964, the word “Bantu” has been substituted for the word “native” or “natives” wherever they occur.]
[In terms of s. 17 of Act No. 42 of 1964 as amended by s. 7 of Act No. 94 of 1980, the word “Commissioner” has been substituted for the words “Bantu Affairs Commissioner” wherever they occur, the words “National States” have been substituted for the words “Bantu Homelands” or “Black States” wherever they occur, and the word “Black” or “Blacks”, as the context may require, has been substituted for the word “Bantu” wherever it occurs.]
[In terms of s. 10 of Act No. 101 of 1982, the word “Director-General” has been substituted for the word “Secretary” wherever it occurs.]


Be it enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows:―


Definitions.

1. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates—

[Definitions of “alien” and “authorized representative” deleted by item 1 (a) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

“Black” means a person who is, or is generally accepted as, a member of any aboriginal race or tribe of Africa;

[Definition of “Black” substituted by s. 1 (a) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

“board” means a board constituted in terms of section eleven;

[Definition of “certificate of particulars of birth” deleted by item 1 (a) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

“coloured person” means a person who is not a white person or a Black;

“Commissioner” means a Commissioner appointed under the Black Administration Act, 1927 (Act No. 38 of 1927);

[Definition of “Commissioner” inserted by s. 1 (b) of Act No. 101 of 1982.]
[Definition of “Director” deleted by s. 1 (a) of Act No. 30 of 1960.]

“ethnic or other group” means a group prescribed and defined by the Governor-General in terms of subsection (2) of section five;

[Definitions of “fixed date”, “identity document” and “identity number” deleted by item 1 (a) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

“Minister” means the Minister of Internal Affairs;

[Definition of “Minister” substituted by s. 1 (d) of Act No. 101 of 1982.]
[Definition of “ordinary place of residence” deleted by item 1 (a) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulation;

[Definition of “regional representative” deleted by item 1 (a) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

“register” means the population register as defined in section 1 of the Identification Act, 1986;

[Definition of “register” substituted by item 1 (b) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

“regulation” means a regulation made under section twenty;

[Definition of “Secretary” deleted by s. 1 (g) of Act No. 101 of 1982.]

“this Act” includes the regulations;

“white person” means a person who—

(a) in appearance obviously is a white person and who is not generally accepted as a coloured person; or

(b) is generally accepted as a white person and is not in appearance obviously not a white person,

but does not include any person who for the purposes of his classification under this Act, freely and voluntarily admits that he is by descent a Black or a coloured person unless it is proved that the admission is not based on fact.

[Definition of “white person” substituted by s. 1 of Act No. 61 of 1962.]

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1) or any other law, but subject to the provisions of section 5 (5)—

(a) in deciding whether any person is in appearance obviously a white person or not a white person within the meaning of the definition of “white person” in subsection (1), his habits. education and speech and deportment and demeanour in general shall be taken into account;

(b) it shall, in the absence of proof that any person who is not a Black, is generally accepted as a white person, be assumed that he is generally accepted as a coloured person;

[Para. (b) substituted by s. 1 (c) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(c) a person shall be deemed not to be generally accepted as a white person, unless he is so accepted in the area in which or at any place where he—

(i) is ordinarily resident;

(ii) is employed or carries on business;

(iii) mixes socially or takes part in other activities with other members of the public,

and in his association with the members of his family and any other persons with whom he lives;

(d) in considering whether or not any person is a white person, he shall be deemed also to admit freely and voluntarily and on the ground of facts that he is by descent a Black or a coloured person if—

(i) in any proceedings before a board or for the purposes of his classification before a court of law, he admits or has admitted under oath that he is not by descent a white person; or

(ii) in any document referred to in section 2 (2) of the Identification Act, 1986, or in any application for an identity document in terms of the said Act, completed and signed by him there appears a statement to the effect that as far as his race is concerned, he is not a white person; or

[Sub-para. (ii) substituted by item 1 (c) (i) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

(iii) he for the purposes of his classification admits or has admitted that either of his natural parents is or was not generally accepted as a white person;

(e) the fact that any person was generally accepted as a white person or a coloured person or a Black on the date on which a document referred to in section 2 (2) of the Identification Act, 1986, was completed by or in respect of him, shall at all times be conclusive proof that he is so accepted.

[Para. (e) substituted by item 1 (c) (ii) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]
[Sub-s. (2) added by s. 1 of Act No. 64 of 1967.]

(3) When in any document referred to in section 2 (2) of the Identification Act, 1986, or in any application for an identity document in terms of the said Act, the race of any person is described as “mixed” or “gemeng”, that description shall for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) of this section be deemed to be a reference to a coloured person unless such person proves that he is in fact not a coloured person.

[Sub-s. (3) substituted by item 1 (d) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]
[Sub-s. (4)–(6) deleted by item 1 (e) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]


[S. 2–4 repealed by item 2 of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]


Classification of persons whose names are included in the register.

5. (1) Every person whose name is included in the register shall be classified by the Director-General as a white person, a coloured person or a Black, as the case may be, and every coloured person and every Black whose name is so included shall be classified by the Director-General according to the ethnic or other group to which he belongs.

(2) The State President may by proclamation in the Gazette prescribe and define the ethnic or other groups into which coloured persons and Blacks shall be classified in terms of subsection (1), and may in like manner amend or withdraw any such proclamation or any proclamation purporting to have been issued in terms of this subsection.

(3) (a) The State President may in any proclamation referred to in subsection (2) whereby a previous proclamation, including a proclamation purporting to have been issued in terms of that subsection, is amended or substituted, state that anything done or purporting to have been done under the provisions of that previous proclamation, which could be done under that proclamation as so amended or under the new proclamation whereby that proclamation is so substituted, shall be deemed to have been done under the amended or new proclamation, as the case may be.

(b) A proclamation under subsection (2) may be issued with retrospective effect as from a date not earlier than the seventh day of July, 1950.

(4) (a) If at any time it appears to the Director-General that the classification of a person in terms of subsection (1) (other than a classification in accordance with a decision of a board) is incorrect he may, after having given notice to that person and, if he is a minor, also to his guardian, specifying in which respect the classification is incorrect alter the classification of that person in the register after affording such person and such guardian (if any) an opportunity of being heard.

(b) If at any time the Director-General doubts whether any such classification is correct he may, after notice to the person in question and, if such person is a minor, also to his guardian, refer the case to a board for decision as to whether the classification of that person in the register should be altered.

(c) The Director-General may at any time with the concurrence of any person, or, in the case of a minor, also with the concurrence of his guardian, alter in his discretion the classification of such person in the register.

[Sub-s. (4) substituted by s. 2 (a) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(4A) If any case is in terms of subsection (4) (b) of this section referred to a board for decision, the provisions of subsections (5) to (9), inclusive, of section 11 shall mutatis mutandis apply with reference to such case: Provided that in any such case an appeal shall only lie against a decision of a board if such decision results in the existing classification of the person in question being altered.

[Sub-s. (4A) inserted by s. 2 (b) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(5) In the application of this section and notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act—

(a) a person shall be classified as a white person if his natural parents have both been classified as white persons;

(b) a person shall be classified as a coloured person if his natural parents have both been classified as coloured persons or one of his natural parents has been classified as a white person and the other natural parent has been classified as a coloured person or a Black;

(c) a coloured person whose natural parents have both been classified as members of the same ethnic or other group, shall be classified as a member of that group;

(d) a person shall be classified as a Black if his natural parents have both been classified as Blacks;

(e) a person shall not be classified as a white person if one of his natural parents has been classified as a coloured person or a Black;

[Para (e) added by s. 2 (d) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(f) a person whose natural father has been classified as a member of any ethnic or other group into which coloured persons may be classified, shall be classified as a member of the group of which his father has been so classified as a member.

[Para (f) added by s. 2 (d) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]
[Sub-s. (5) amended by s. 2 (c) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(6) The provisions of subsection (5) with reference to the classification of a parent of any person—

(a) shall be applied so long as such classification has not been altered in terms of this Act; and

(b) shall also apply with reference to the classification of any such parent who dies after such classification.

[Sub-s. (6) added by s. 2 (e) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]
[S. 5 substituted by s. 2 of Act No. 64 of 1967.]


[S. 6–7 repealed by item 3 of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]


[S. 8 repealed by s. 6 of Act No. 29 of 1970.]


[S. 9–10 repealed by item 4 of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]


Objections to and appeals against classification of persons in register, and constitution and functions of boards.

11. (1) Any person who considers himself aggrieved by his classification, or the classification of a minor of whom he is the guardian, by the Director-General in terms of section 5 may within thirty days, or such longer period not exceeding one year as the Minister may allow, after the said classification became known to him, but in no circumstances later, object in writing to the Director-General against that classification.

[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 3 (a) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(2) A minor may himself object in terms of subsection (1) against his classification.

[Sub-s. (2) substituted by s. 3 (b) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(3) Every such objection shall be lodged in the form of an affidavit setting forth fully the grounds upon which the objection is made and stating the date on which the classification in question became known to the objector.

(4) Every objection received by the Director-General in terms of subsection (3) within the period referred to in subsection (1), shall be referred by him for decision to a board of not less than three persons, including the chairman, constituted for the purpose or for the purposes of section 5 (4) by the Minister, and presided over by a person appointed by the Minister, who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, or a magistrate.

(5) (a) The provisions of the Commissions Act, 1947 (Act No. 8 of 1947), except section 1 thereof, shall apply mutatis mutandis with reference to any board constituted under subsection (4) of this section: Provided that the Director-General and every objector and every person whose classification has in terms of the provisions of section 5 (4) been referred by the Director-General for decision to a board, and, if that person is a minor, also his guardian, shall be entitled to appear before the board concerned either in person or by counsel or attorney on his behalf, to cross-examine witnesses and to adduce such evidence as may be relevant to the matter before the board: Provided further that all sittings of a board shall be held in public or in camera as the person whose classification is in issue or, if he is a minor and his guardian is present at the sittings in question. such guardian may elect.

(b) In any proceedings before a board any relevant document referred to in section 2 (2) of the Identification Act, 1986, any relevant report on any investigation under section 13 (b) of the said Act, and any relevant application for an identity document in terms of the said Act, shall be admitted as evidence.

[Para. (b) substituted by item 5 of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

(6) The decision of the board shall be final and binding upon all persons: Provided that any person who considers himself aggrieved by a decision of a board in regard to his own classification or the classification of his ward, or the Director-General, if he considers it necessary for the performance of his duties in terms of this Act, may appeal against that decision by way of application on notice of motion to the provincial or local division of the Supreme Court of South Africa having jurisdiction in the area within which the person to whose classification the decision relates, is ordinarily resident, within thirty days after the decision of the board has been given or within such further period, not exceeding two months, as the said court may for sufficient cause allow.

[Sub-s. (6) substituted by s. 3 (c) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(7) (a) The sittings of a division of the said Supreme Court shall, while any such appeal is being heard, be held in public or in camera as the person whose classification is in issue, or, if he is a minor, his guardian, or, if such person or minor is represented by a legal representative, such legal representative, may elect.

(b) The division of the said Supreme Court to which appeal is made may confirm, vary or set aside the decision of the board and give such other decision as in its opinion the board ought to have given, or remit the case to the board with such instructions as the said division may deem fit, and may make such order as to costs as it may deem fit.

[Sub-s. (7) substituted by s. 3 (d) of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(8) Any judgment given or order made by a provincial or local division of the said Supreme Court in terms of subsection (7), shall be subject to appeal to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa in the same manner and on the same conditions as a judgment given or order made in a civil proceeding in that provincial or local division.

(9) A decision by the court in terms of subsection (7) or (8) relating to the classification of any person shall, for the purpose of this Act, be deemed to be the decision of a board.

(10) A member of the board who is not a member of the public service may be paid such remuneration for his services as a member of the board as the Minister may, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, determine.

[S. 11 substituted by s. 4 of Act No. 64 of 1967.]


[S. 12–17 repealed by item 4 of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]


Offences and penalties.

18. (1) Any person who—

(a) for the purposes of this Act knowingly makes or causes to be made a statement which is false in a material particular;

[Para. (b)–(k) deleted by item 7 (a) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction—

(i) in the case of an offence referred to in paragraph (a), to a fine not exceeding two hundred rand or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment; and

[Para. (i) amended and para. (ii) deleted by item 7 (b) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]
[Sub-s. (2) deleted by item 7 (c) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]
[S. 18 substituted by s. 14 of Act No. 29 of 1970.]


Evidence and presumptions.

19. (1) A person who in appearance obviously is a member of an aboriginal race or tribe of Africa shall for the purposes of this Act be presumed to be a Black unless it is proved that he is not in fact and is not generally accepted as such a member.

(1A) If any person for the purposes of his classification in terms of this Act or such classification of a minor of whom he is the guardian alleges that he or such minor is a white person or a coloured person or a member of any ethnic or other group, the onus of proving that he or, as the case may be, such minor is such, shall be on him, and he shall prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

[Sub-s. (1A) inserted by s. 7 of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(1B) If in any document referred to in section 2 (2) of the Identification Act, 1986, completed by or in respect of any person, or in an application for an identity document in terms of the said Act completed by or on behalf of any person, there appears a statement to the effect that such person is a member of any race or group into which coloured persons may be classified, it shall be assumed that on the date on which such document or application was so completed, and at all times thereafter, such person was accepted as such a member, unless he proves that on that date he was not accepted as such a member.

[Sub-s. (1B) substituted by item 8 (a) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

(1C) Subject to the other provisions of this Act hearsay evidence of declarations as to pedigree shall not be admissible in evidence in proceedings before a board.

[Sub-s. (1C) inserted by s. 7 of Act No. 106 of 1969.]

(1D) If a reference book has under the Blacks (Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents) Act, 1952 (Act No. 67 of 1952), been issued to any person, such person shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to have been notified, on the date on which such reference book was so issued to him, that he has been classified as a member of the ethnic group indicated in such reference book.

[Sub-s. (1D) inserted by s. 4 of Act No. 36 of 1973.]
[Sub-s. (2)–(3) deleted by item 8 (b) of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]
[S. 19 substituted by s. 6 of Act No. 64 of 1967.]


Regulations.

20. (1) The Minister may make regulations as to any matter which in terms of this Act is required or permitted to be prescribed or which he deems it necessary or expedient to prescribe in order that the objects of this Act may be achieved.

[Sub-s. (1) substituted by item 9 of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]

(2) Any regulations made under sub-section (1) may prescribe penalties for any contravention thereof or failure to comply therewith not exceeding a fine of fifty pounds or imprisonment for a period of six months.

(3) Any regulations made under sub-section (1) shall be laid on the Tables of both Houses of Parliament within fourteen days after promulgation thereof if Parliament is then in ordinary session, or if Parliament is not then in ordinary session, within fourteen days after the commencement of its next ensuing ordinary session, and shall remain on the said Tables for at least twenty-eight consecutive days, and if Parliament is prorogued before the necessary twenty-eight days have elapsed, such regulations shall again be laid on the said Tables as aforesaid within fourteen days after the commencement of its next ensuing ordinary session.

(4) If both Houses of Parliament by resolution passed in the same session (being a session during which such regulations have been laid on the Tables of both Houses of Parliament in terms of sub-section (3)) disapprove of any such regulations or of any provision thereof, such regulations or such provision thereof shall thereafter cease to be of force and effect to the extent to which they are so disapproved, but without prejudice to the validity of anything done in terms of such regulations or of such provision thereof up to the date upon which they so ceased to be of force and effect, or to any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred as at the said date under and by virtue of such regulations or such provision thereof.


[S. 21 repealed by item 10 of the Schedule to Act No. 72 of 1986.]


Effect of amendments to Act.

21A. (1) The provisions of this Act as they exist immediately after the commencement of the Population Registration Amendment Act, 1969, and the provisions of Proclamation No. 123 of 1967 shall apply—

(a) in considering, for the purposes of subsection (4) of section 5, the correctness or otherwise of the classification of any person, and in classifying any such person in terms or by virtue of the provisions of paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection;

(b) for the purposes of every decision given by a board after the said commencement, irrespective of the date on which the case concerned was referred to the board;

(c) with reference to the classification of any person in any other case, except any case contemplated in subsection (2).

(2) An appeal in terms of section 11 against a decision of a board given prior to the commencement of the Population Registration Amendment Act, 1969, shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, be decided in accordance with the provisions of this Act as they existed on the date on which the relevant decision of the board in question was given, but without having regard to any retrospective effect of any provision of this Act, and in accordance with the provisions of Proclamation No. 123 of 1967.

(3) No objection by any person against the classification of any other person (save an objection by any person against the classification of a minor of whom he is the guardian) shall be considered by any board or any division of the Supreme Court of South Africa or, if it has been considered by any board or any such division, further considered or decided on, irrespective of the date on which such objection was lodged with the Director-General.

(4) Any classification made or purporting to have been made in terms of section 5 (1) prior to the commencement of Proclamation No. 46 of 1959, and any classification made or purporting to have been made in accordance with the provisions of the said Proclamation No. 46 and Proclamation No. 27 of 1961 which could be made in accordance with the provisions of Proclamation No. 123 of 1967, shall be deemed to have been made in accordance with the last-mentioned provisions and on the date on which it was so made or so purports to have been made.

(5) If the name of any person has been included in the register and an indication of the race or group to which he belongs is given therein, he shall be deemed to have been classified in terms of section 5 as a member of that race or group.

(6) A classification purporting to have been made in terms of section 5 (1) shall not be invalid merely on the ground of the fact that the person by whom such classification purports to have been made was not duly authorized thereto.

[S. 21A inserted by s. 8 of Act No. 106 of 1969.]


[S. 22 repealed by s. 18 of Act No. 29 of 1970.]


[S. 23 repealed by s. 16 of Act No. 73 of 1957.]


Short title.

24. This Act shall be called the Population Registration Act, 1950.