Senate Act, 1955
To make provision for the dissolution and the constitution of the Senate, to amend the South Africa Act, 1909, and the South-West Africa Affairs Amendment Act, 1949, and to provide for matters incidental thereto.
(English text signed by the Governor-General.)
(Assented to 20th June, 1955.)
Preamble. Whereas it is by section twenty-five of the South Africa Act, 1909, provided that Parliament may provide for the manner in which the Senate shall be constituted after the expiration of a period of ten years from the establishment of the Union.
And whereas provision is made in the said section twenty-five for the manner in which the Senate shall be constituted until Parliament otherwise provides:
And whereas it is expedient to make provision for the constitution of the Senate in a manner other than that provided for in the said section twenty-five:
And whereas it is expedient to make provision for matters incidental thereto:
Be it therefore enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows:―
and the Senate shall thereafter be constituted as provided in this Act.
(2) The Senators referred to in paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) shall in the case of each province be elected jointly by the then sitting members of the House of Assembly and provincial councillors for that province other than the members elected under the Representation of Natives Act, 1936.
3. (1) The senators nominated by the Governor-General in terms of paragraph (a) of sub-section (1) of section two shall, subject to the provisions of section one of the Senate Act, 1926 (Act No. 54 of 1926), hold their seats for five years.
(2) One-half of the senators so nominated shall be selected on the ground mainly of their thorough acquaintance by reason of their official experience or otherwise, with the reasonable wants and wishes of the coloured races in South Africa.
(3) If the seat of a senator so nominated becomes vacant, the Governor-General shall nominate another person to hold the seat until the completion of the period for which the person in whose stead he is nominated would have held the seat.
4. (1) The senators elected under sub-section (2) of section two shall hold their seats for five years unless the Senate be sooner dissolved.
(2) If the seat of an elected senator becomes vacant, the then sitting members of the House of Assembly and the provincial councillors for the province concerned (other than the members elected under the Representation of Natives Act, 1936), shall elect a person to hold the seat until the completion of the period for which the person in whose stead he is elected, would have held the seat.
(3) Senators shall be elected by majority vote each voter having one non-transferable vote for each senator to be elected.
(4) If two or more persons who are at any election of senators candidates for the same seat, receive the same number of votes, a re-election of a senator for that seat shall be held forthwith according to that principle of proportional representation according to which each voter has one transferable vote, and if at such a re-election the said persons again receive the same number of votes, one of the said persons to be determined by the drawing of lots shall be deemed to have been elected as a senator for that seat.
(5) The Governor-General may make regulations in regard to the election of senators under this Act, including regulations in regard to the duties of returning officers in connection with such elections and in regard to the drawing of lots in the circumstances contemplated in sub-section (4).
5. Section twenty-six of the South Africa Act, 1909, is hereby amended by the deletion of paragraph (e) thereof and of the words “and property situated within” wherever they occur.
6. Section thirty of the South Africa Act, 1909, is hereby amended by the substitution for the word “twelve” of the word “fifteen”.
7. The following section is hereby substituted for section sixty-three of the South Africa Act, 1909:
8. Section one hundred and thirty-four of the South Africa Act, 1909, is hereby amended by the deletion of the words “of senators and” and the words “or, in the case of the first election of the Senate, the Governor-in-Council of each of the Colonies”.
10. Section thirty of the South-West Africa Affairs Amendment Act, 1949, is hereby amended―
11. Nothing in this Act contained shall derogate from the provisions of any law in which provision is made for the election or nomination of additional senators.
12. This Act shall be called the Senate Act, 1955.