Masters and Servants Acts

(64 words)
  • Sam Raditlhalo (University of South Arica)

Historical Context Note

Passed in all four territories, these laws remained in force after Union and were only repealed in 1974. They made it a criminal offence to breach the contract of employment. Desertion, insolence, drunkenness, negligence and strikes were defined as criminal acts. While they theoretically applied to all the races, the courts made them applicable only to unskilled labour, which was performed mostly by black people.

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Raditlhalo, Sam. "Masters and Servants Acts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 February 2009
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]