What were the long-lasting consequences of Reservation of Separate Amenities Act?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The policy of apartheid, or the separation of whites and blacks, had long been in practical effect in South Africa before the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act became law on October 9, 1953, but this act legalized various aspects of egregious racial segregation that already existed. The long-term effect of...

This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

this law was the legalization of mixed standards for whites and non-whites concerning the use of public amenities.

According to the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, public facilities for whites of European descent and black Africans were to be segregated. These facilities included methods of transportation such as trains, buses, ambulances, taxis, and hearses. They also included buildings such as town halls, church halls, theaters, cinemas, schools, restaurants, and cafes. Races were also to have separate elevators, parks, and benches. An amendment to the act was later added that segregated seashores and beaches. Unlike the Jim Crow laws in the United States, the act made no provision that facilities had to be separate but equal. It was legally acceptable for white amenities to be better than black amenities, and this was in fact what overwhelmingly came to be the case.

In the long term, the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act gave the white minority in South Africa the ability to legally enforce the appropriation and use of superior facilities for themselves and to force black people to accept inferior conditions. This act remained law for several decades until it was repealed by the South African Parliament in 1990.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act was a piece of legislation passed by the Apartheid government in South Africa. It stipulated that public facilities could either be for the use of white people only or for the use of black people only. It meant that certain facilities, such as public toilets, swimming pools, park benches, and schools, were for the exclusive use of the white population, while separate (typically inferior) facilities were designated for use by black people.

As with every piece of Apartheid legislation, this Act was designed to keep black people and white people apart. In doing this—preventing ordinary white people from engaging with ordinary black people (apart from those who worked as their servants) on a daily basis—the Apartheid government ensured the longevity of the racist ideology which formed the backbone of Apartheid.

The Act was passed in 1953 and was only repealed in 1990, meaning that it was in place for the majority of the Apartheid regime.

In terms of long-lasting effects, it is interesting to note that this act has no relevance upon South African society today. Everybody uses whichever public facilities they need to. The effects of other acts, such as the Group Areas Act, which dictated where white and black people could respectively live and work, can still be seen today, with certain areas still inhabited predominantly by certain races.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act created legal segregation in South Africa. This law allowed for segregation in public facilities including restaurants, schools, transportation, and theaters. This law stated that segregation could occur even if the facilities were not equal in quality.

The long-term impact of this law and others that made up the apartheid system was that the races were kept apart, and the white minority remained in control of the government. It also created a great deal of tension between white South Africans and non-white South Africans.

Eventually, there was a great deal of international pressure placed on the South African government to end the system of apartheid. Several countries imposed sanctions on South Africa. Travel, trade, and international sporting competitions were reduced or banned.

This pressure eventually worked as the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act ended in 1990, and apartheid ended in 1994.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team