About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Black Local Authorities

As part of the so-called Bantustan or Homelands* policy H.F. Verwoerd, the Minister of Native Affairs (and later prime minister) tried to transform the African reserves into self-governing ethnic states. The first step in this process was to create black local authorities. In terms of the Bantu Authorities Act (1951) appointed chiefs and headmen were given limited control over local issues. Chiefs who failed to co-operate with government dictates were deposed and replaced. The system was met with considerable popular resistance, but was followed by further steps in the same direction with the passing of the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act in 1959.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.