Promotion of Bantu Self-government Act, 1959

The Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act, 1959 (Act No. 46 of 1959, commenced 19 June; subsequently renamed the Promotion of Black Self-government Act, 1959 and later the Representation between the Republic of South Africa and Self-governing Territories Act, 1959) was an important piece of South African apartheid legislation that allowed for the transformation of traditional tribal lands into "fully fledged independent states Bantustans" which would supposedly provide for the right to self-determination of the country's Black population. It also resulted in the abolition of parliamentary representation for Blacks, an act furthered in 1970 with the passage of the Black Homeland Citizenship Act.

Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act, 1959
Coat of arms of South Africa (1932–2000).svg
Parliament of South Africa
CitationAct No. 46 of 1959
Enacted byParliament of South Africa
Royal assent17 June 1959
Commenced19 June 1959
Repealed27 April 1994
Administered byMinister of Bantu Administration and Development
Repealed by
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993
Related legislation
Bantu Authorities Act, 1951
Status: Repealed

The Act was designed to further the policy of so-called "Grand Apartheid," meaning the permanent partition of South Africa into national "homelands" for each supposed "people" or nation.[1] In this plan, the "Afrikaner" (indigenized Dutch) people would control the bulk of the country, while the African population was divided into eight peoples, defined according to language groups, that would have separate nation-states in areas unilaterally demarcated by the white regime. Each black "nation" was then provided with a Commissioner-General who was entrusted with the development of its assigned Homeland into a fully self-governing state. Blacks were expected to exercise their political rights in these Homeland enclave states, not in the remainder of South Africa where white supremacy would continue and Afrikaner (Dutch-white) nationalism would be expressed.

The Act was repealed by the Interim Constitution of South Africa on 27 April 1994.


  1. ^ "1959. Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act No 46 - The O'Malley Archives". Retrieved 2020-02-03.