Today In History: 12 February 1965 Public Places Of Recreation For Whites Only Proclaimed


12 February 1965 marked the official proclamation of whites only public places of recreation in South Africa under The Group Areas Act.

In accordance to the Group Areas Act of 1950, public places of recreation in white areas were proclaimed on 12 February 1965.

This meant that following the proclamation, black people were prohibited from entering these public places of recreation. The proclamation also listed sporting events, theatres and concerts in white areas from which blacks were barred. It was made 15 years after the Group Areas Act was promulgated.


According to this act, urban areas were to be divided into racially segregated zones “where members of one specific race alone could live and work” (Thompson 1990: 194). Group areas were created “for the exclusive ownership and occupation of a designated group” (Christopher 1994: 105). It further became “a criminal offence for a member of one racial group to reside on or own land in an area set aside by proclamation for another race” (Dyzenhaus 1991: 71).

For the first time, it “at least potentially extended compulsory general segregation to ‘Coloureds’; centralised control over racial segregation, effectively undermining municipal autonomy; laid the basis for long-range, wide-scale land allocation planning; opened the way to greatly expanded (though of course strictly segregated) public housing provision especially for the poorer sections of the urban population; provided for retroactive segregation; and massively interfered with concepts of property rights generally” (Mabin 1992: 407).

8 Comments on "Today In History: 12 February 1965 Public Places Of Recreation For Whites Only Proclaimed"

  1. It is interesting to read that the provision of public housing was one of the objectives of apartheid South Africa. I like to know the difference between that provision of housing under Group Areas Act as compared to the current one under the New Constitution. Under the New Constitution, it says housing must be provided by the State by taking reasonable legislative measures and other measures within available resources, to achieve the progressive realization of the right to access to housing.

  2. And did whites live together with blacks in the old homelands of this time period ?
    Did they serve in homeland gov positions?
    Were they mere farmers or business owners within the old homelands.

    • Pinky Khoabane | February 13, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Reply

      Dear Kate

      I wasn’t too sure where you were leading with your questions but in answering them, I thought to provide background which will hopefully answer you.

      Segregation took place throughout the history of South African during the Apartheid era. Segregation was defined as the imposed separation of groups; the practice of keeping ethnic, racial, religious, or gender groups separate. The homelands started around the mid twentieth century, and ended in the late twentieth century, around the mid 1990s. The term that was used consistently was “White South Africa” as the Government aimed to move every Black person to his or her respective ethnic homeland in order to have South Africa completely in the hands of the White population. Blacks were given homelands, and that meant that whatever their culture was, they had to go to the given homeland.

      For example, if a Black man or woman was of Zulu origin, they were assigned to go to KwaZulu, the Bantustan designated for Zulus. In total, ten homelands were created in South Africa. These were the Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Venda, Gazankulu, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, Lebowa, and QwaQwa. The homelands were designed for specific ethnic groups. For example, two homelands of Ciskei and Transkei were created only for the Xhosa people, while Bophuthatswana was created only for the Tswana people, KwaZulu was only for Zulu people, Lebowa for the Pedi and Northern Ndebele, Venda only for Vendas, Gazankulu was for Shangaan and Tsonga people and Qwa Qwa was for Basothos.

      The Apartheid government made it legal for Blacks to become citizens of their independent Bantustans. The Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970 was passed, which allowed Blacks living throughout South Africa as legal citizens in the homeland designated for their particular ethnic group. The Act did not give Blacks South African citizenship or civil and political rights.

      – So there were no Homelands at the time Group Areas Act was passed into law
      – There were no Homelands at the time that the specific law barring Blacks from whites-only swimming pools, theatres and other recreational areas was proclaimed

      I sincerely hope you are not justifying SA’s segregation laws which fell under apartheid which was a crime against humanity.


      Pinky Khoabane

  3. Dear Pinky
    How has anything changed post 1994, blacks & whites still live apart by choice & any blacks in white companies are mere window dressers.

    When will blacks demand to be taught in their home languages & reject colonial english, western thought processes, model c & create their own stock exchange, banks, supermarket chain stores, reserve bank etc

    The anc need to tear a page from the afrikaner broederbond if they want to acquire power & influence in rsa.

    Blacks failing to become independent of the white system is the real crime against humanity .

    I once read somewhere that the Black liberation movements in south africa are the only ones who fought to be integrated with another race or group.

    Regards Kate

    • Dear Kate

      The key word is choice. We can live wherever we like. You might not like it, but I can swim in the same pool as you. That is what an open society based on principles of equality give us.

      Kate, the governing ANC believes in non-racialism and your views point to exactly the flaws in the notion that whites want to live alongside Blacks.

      Instead of asking why Blacks dont invent their own systems within a “non-racial society” why dont you ask why Whites dont leave a country that they stole and from which they stole much.

      The pictures of apartheid racism with the words Europeans Only meant exactly that – Europeans. They can easily leave with all the money they looted – it can sustain them for years to come.

      And it can save you this conversation.


      Pinky Khoabane

      • I think Kate is right. Black people must start to build their own financial institutions(banks or insurance companies). It is possible, they run big stokvels and as well as been funeral directors successfully

  4. Dear Pinky
    None of the views expressed by myself above are mine they are just observations Ive made in the new non racial society of rsa.

    Why dont the anc ask white people to leave, I am not from the government of rsa.

    You can swim in the same pool as me, but whites dont attend new sa beaches have you not noticed?

    I think blacks need to get their rear ends into order if they want to rule rsa.
    Voting on a piece of paper means nothing if shanduka (anglo vaal) are running rsa for them.

    Regards Kate

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