South Africa Act, 1909/1966-02-18

South Africa Act, 1909.

9 Edward VII.


Chapter 9.


An Act to constitute the Union of South Africa.


[20th September, 1909.]



as amended by

Exchequer and Audit Act, No. 21 of 1911
Appellate Division Act, No. 12 of 1920
South Africa Act, 1909, Amendment Act, No. 9 of 1925
South Africa Act, 1909, Further Amendment Act, No. 34 of 1925
Local Government (Provincial Powers) Act, No. 1 of 1926
Electoral Act, 1918, Amendment Act, No. 11 of 1926
Criminal and Magistrates’ Courts Procedure (Amendment) Act, No. 39 of 1926
Payment of Members of Parliament Act, No. 51 of 1926
Administration of Justice (Further Amendment) Act, No. 11 of 1927
Rhodesia Appeals Act, No. 18 of 1931
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 17 of 1933
Financial Adjustments Act, No. 29 of 1933
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 45 of 1934
Status of the Union Act, No. 69 of 1934
Census Amendment Act, No. 5 of 1935
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 43 of 1935
General Law Amendment Act, No. 46 of 1935
Representation of Natives Act, No. 12 of 1936
Electoral Quota Act, No. 21 of 1937
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 13 of 1938
Constitution (Prevention of Disabilities) Act, No. 19 of 1940
Electoral Laws Amendment Act, No. 20 of 1940
Judges’ Act, No. 41 of 1941
Electoral Quota Consolidation Act, No. 30 of 1942
Financial Relations Consolidation and Amendment Act, No. 38 of 1945
Electoral Laws Amendment Act, No. 10 of 1946
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 21 of 1946
Provincial Powers Extension Act, No. 41 of 1947
Powers and Privileges of Provincial Councils Act, No. 16 of 1948
Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, No. 37 of 1948
Deputy-Administrators Act, No. 2 of 1949
Privy Council Appeals Act, No. 16 of 1950
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 39 of 1950
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 66 of 1951
General Law Amendment Act, No. 32 of 1952
Electoral Laws Amendment Act, No. 55 of 1952
Bantu Education Act, No. 47 of 1953
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 20 of 1954
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 9 of 1955
Appellate Division Quorum Act, No. 27 of 1955
Senate Act, No. 53 of 1955
General Law Amendment Act, No. 62 of 1955
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 9 of 1956
Railways and Harbours Acts Further Amendment Act, No. 39 of 1956
General Law Amendment Act, No. 50 of 1956
South Africa Act Further Amendment Act, No. 1 of 1957
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 2 of 1957
General Law Amendment Act, No. 68 of 1957
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 1 of 1958
South Africa Act Further Amendment Act, No. 49 of 1958
Appellate Division Quorum Act, No. 1 of 1959
South Africa Act Amendment Act, No. 3 of 1959
South Africa Act Further Amendment Act, No. 48 of 1959
Offices of Profit Amendment Act, No. 49 of 1959
Supreme Court Act, No. 59 of 1959
Senate Act, No. 53 of 1960
Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, No. 31 of 1961
Payment of Members of Parliament Act, No. 58 of 1961
Admission of Advocates Act, No. 74 of 1964



[Ss. 1–7 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
[S. 8 repealed by s. 11 of Act No. 69 of 1934.]
[Ss. 9–32 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
[Ss. 33 and 34 repealed by s. 4 of Act No. 30 of 1942.]
[Ss. 35–47 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
[S. 48 repealed by s. 49 of Act No. 11 of 1926.]
[Ss. 49–55 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
[S. 56 repealed by s. 6 of Act No. 58 of 1961.]
[Ss. 57–64 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
[Ss. 65 and 66 repealed by s. 11 of Act No. 69 of 1934.]
[Ss. 67–94 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
[Ss. 95–114 repealed by s. 46 of Act No. 59 of 1959.]
Advocates and attorneys.

115. (1) The laws regulating the admission of attorneys to practise before any superior court of any of the Colonies shall mutatis mutandis apply to the admission of attorneys to practise in the corresponding division of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

(2) All attorneys entitled at the establishment of the Union to practise in any superior court of any of the Colonies shall be entitled to practise as such in the corresponding division of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

(3) All attorneys entitled to practise before any provincial division of the Supreme Court of South Africa shall be entitled to practise before the Appellate Division.

[S. 115 amended by s. 13 of Act No. 74 of 1964.]
[S. 116 repealed by s. 46 of Act No. 59 of 1959.]
[Ss. 117–131 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
[S. 132 repealed by s. 1 of Act No. 21 of 1911.]
[Ss. 133–149 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]
Power to admit into Union territories administered by British South Africa Company.

150. The King, with the advice of the Privy Council, may on addresses from the Houses of Parliament of the Union admit into the Union the territories administered by the British South Africa Company on such terms and conditions as to representation and otherwise in each case as are expressed in the addresses and approved by the King, and the provisions of any Order-in-Council in that behalf shall have effect as if they had been enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Power to transfer to Union government of native territories.

151. The King, with the advice of the Privy Council, may, on addresses from the Houses of Parliament of the Union, transfer to the Union the government of any territories, other than the territories administered by the British South Africa Company, belonging to or under the protection of His Majesty, and inhabited wholly or in part by natives, and upon such transfer the Governor-General-in-Council may undertake the government of such territory upon the terms and conditions embodied in the Schedule to this Act.

[Ss. 152 and 153 repealed by s. 120 of Act No. 31 of 1961.]



Schedule.

1. After the transfer of the government of any territory belonging to or under the protection of His Majesty, the Governor-General-in-Council shall be the legislative authority, and may by proclamation make laws for the peace, order, and good government of such territory: Provided that all such laws shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament within seven days after the issue of the proclamation or, if Parliament be not then sitting, within seven days after the beginning of the next session, and shall be effectual unless and until both Houses Parliament shall by resolutions passed in the same session request the Governor-General-in-Council to repeal the same, in which case they shall be repealed by proclamation.

2. The Prime Minister shall be charged with the administration of any territory thus transferred, and he shall be advised in the general conduct of such administration by a commission consisting of not fewer than three members with a secretary, to be appointed by the Governor-General-in-Council, who shall take the instructions of the Prime Minister in conducting all correspondence relating to the territories, and shall also under the like control have custody of all official papers relating to the territories.

3. The members of the commission shall be appointed by the Governor-General-in-Council, and shall be entitled to hold office for a period of ten years, but such period may be extended to successive further terms of five years. They shall each be entitled to a fixed annual salary, which shall not be reduced during the continuance of their term of office, and they shall not be removed from office except upon addresses from both Houses of Parliament passed in the same session praying for such removal. They shall not be qualified to become, or to be, members of either House of Parliament. One of the members of the commission shall be appointed by the Governor-General-in-Council as vice-chairman thereof. In case of the absence, illness, or other incapacity of any member of the commission, the Governor-General-in-Council may appoint some other fit and proper person to act during such absence, illness, or other incapacity.

4. It shall be the duty of the members of the commission to advise the Prime Minister upon all matters relating to the general conduct of the administration of, or the legislation for, the said territories. The Prime Minister, or another Minister of State nominated by the Prime Minister to be his deputy for a fixed period, or, failing such nomination, the vice-chairman shall preside at all meetings of the commission, and in case of an equality of votes shall have a casting vote. Two members of the commission shall form a quorum. In case the commission shall consist of four or more members, three of them shall form a quorum.

5. Any member of the commission who dissents from the decision of a majority shall be entitled to have the reasons for his dissent recorded in the minutes of the commission.

6. The members of the commission shall have access to all official papers concerning the territories, and they may deliberate on any matter relating thereto and tender their advice thereon to the Prime Minister.

7. Before coming to a decision on any matter relating either to the administration, other than routine, of the territories or to legislation therefor, the Prime Minister shall cause the papers relating to such matter to be deposited with the secretary to the commission, and shall convene a meeting of the commission for the purpose of obtaining its opinion on such matter.

8. Where it appears to the Prime Minister that the dispatch of any communication or the making of any order is urgently required, the communication may be sent or order made, although it has not been submitted to a meeting of the commission or deposited for the perusal of the members thereof. In any such case the Prime Minister shall record the reasons for sending the communication or making the order and give notice thereof to every member.

9. If the Prime Minister does not accept a recommendation of the commission or proposes to take some action contrary to their advice, he shall state his views to the commission, who shall be at liberty to place on record the reasons in support of their recommendation or advice. This record shall be laid by the Prime Minister before the Governor-General-in-Council, whose decision in the matter shall be final.

10. When the recommendations of the commission have not been accepted by the Governor-General-in-Council, or action not in accordance with their advice has been taken by the Governor-General-in-Council, the Prime Minister, if thereto requested by the commission, shall lay the record of their dissent from the decision or action taken and of the reasons therefor before both Houses of Parliament, unless in any case the Governor-General-in-Council shall transmit to the commission a minute recording his opinion that the publication of such record and reasons would be gravely detrimental to the public interest.

11. The Governor-General-in-Council shall appoint a resident commissioner for each territory, who shall, in addition to such other duties as shall be imposed on him, prepare the annual estimates of revenue and expenditure for such territory, and forward the same to the secretary to the commission for the consideration of the commission and of the Prime Minister. A proclamation shall be issued by the Governor-General-in-Council, giving to the provisions for revenue and expenditure made in the estimates as finally approved by the Governor-General-in-Council the force of law.

12. There shall be paid into the Treasury of the Union all duties of customs levied on dutiable articles imported into and consumed in the territories, and there shall be paid out of the Treasury annually towards the cost of administration of each territory a sum in respect of such duties which shall bear to the total customs revenue of the Union in respect of each financial year the same proportion as the average amount of the customs revenue of such territory for the three completed financial years last preceding the taking effect of this Act bore to the average amount of the whole customs revenue for all the Colonies and territories included in the Union received during the same period.

13. If the revenue of any territory for any financial year shall be insufficient to meet the expenditure thereof, any amount required to make good the deficiency may, with the approval of the Governor-General-in-Council, and on such terms and conditions and in such manner as with the like approval may be directed or prescribed, be advanced from the funds of any other territory. In default of any such arrangement, the amount required to make good any such deficiency shall be advanced by the Government of the Union. In case there shall be a surplus for any territory, such surplus shall in the first instance be devoted to the repayment of any sums previously advanced by any other territory or by the Union Government to make good any deficiency in the revenue of such territory.

14. It shall not be lawful to alienate any land in Basutoland or any land forming part of the native reserves in the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland from the native tribes inhabiting those territories.

15. The sale of intoxicating liquor to natives shall be prohibited in the territories, and no provision giving facilities for introducing, obtaining, or possessing such liquor in any part of the territories less stringent than those existing at the time of transfer shall be allowed.

16. The custom, where it exists, of holding pitsos or other recognised forms of native assembly shall be maintained in the territories.

17. No differential duties or imposts on the produce of the territories shall be levied. The laws of the Union relating to customs and excise shall be made to apply to the territories.

18. There shall be free intercourse for the inhabitants of the territories with the rest of South Africa subject to the laws, including the pass laws, of the Union.

19. Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, all revenues derived from any territory shall be expended for and on behalf of such territory: Provided that the Governor-General-in-Council may make special provision for the appropriation of a portion of such revenue as contribution towards the cost of defence and other services performed by the Union for the benefit of the whole of South Africa, so, however, that that contribution shall not bear a higher proportion to the total cost of such services than that which the amount payable under paragraph 12 of this Schedule from the Treasury of the Union towards the cost of the administration of the territory bears to the total customs revenue of the Union on the average of the three years immediately preceding the year for which the contribution is made.

20. The King may disallow any law made by the Governor-General-in-Council by proclamation for any territory within one year from the date of the proclamation, and such disallowance on being made known by the Governor-General by proclamation shall annul the law from the day when the disallowance is so made known.

21. The members of the commission shall be entitled to such pensions or superannuation allowances as the Governor-General-in-Council shall by proclamation provide, and the salaries and pensions of such members and all other expenses of the commission shall be borne by the territories in the proportion of their respective revenues.

22. The rights as existing at the date of transfer of officers of the public service employed in any territory shall remain in force.

23. Where any appeal may by law be made to the King-in-Council from any court of the territories, such appeal shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be made to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

24. The Commission shall prepare an annual report on the territories, which shall, when approved by the Governor-General-in-Council, be laid before both Houses of Parliament.

25. All bills to amend or alter the provisions of this Schedule shall be reserved for the signification of His Majesty’s pleasure.