1955Report of Commission for Socio-Economic Dev. of Bantu Areas (UG61–1955) 93The movement of Bantu work-seekers and labourers is controlled by their having to carry a personal document, the reference book that may be compared to a passport. This system of issuing reference books has certain advantages over the former ‘pass’ system.
1960Natal Mercury 4 Apr. 3A 100-strong mob of natives pranced around a bonfire of reference books in Walmer last night.
1961M.A. WallDominee & Dom-Pas 21When the Reference Book unit first came to Lefurutse, it visited first the royal village, Dinokana.
1964M. BensonAfr. Patriots 221Early in 1956..in Winburg in the Free State, many women were tricked into accepting passes — or reference books as the Government retitled them.
1968Cole & FlahertyHouse of Bondage 40He calls this reference book his ‘passport to existence’. Without it a black man is nothing. He cannot get a job, find housing, get married, or even pick up a parcel at the post office. He must have an employer’s signature on his pass to prove he is working.
1973Cape Times 18 Jan. 1Chief Gatsha Buthelezi..denounced reference books as symbols of oppression and the greatest cause of resentment between Whites and Africans. Waving his own passbook in the air, the Chief reminded the special session..that he had been arrested several times for not carrying it.
1976West & MorrisAbantu 172Today all Africans, by law, have to carry a reference book — the contentious ‘Pass’ — which must be produced on request and which contains details of the bearer’s status in terms of residential rights, employment, tax payments and so on.
1980J. CockMaids & Madams 235In 1952 the Natives (Abolition of passes and co-ordination of documents) Act introduced the ‘reference book’ which was to be issued to all Africans (men and women) and made it an offence not to possess one.
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 178Two important measures were passed in 1952. One consolidated passes into a single reference book.
1986Rhodeo (Rhodes Univ.) May 19The reference book system as an influx control measure will be abolished and replaced by uniform identity documents issued to all races in South Africa.
1989Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 377Verwoerd..‘abolished’ the Pass in favour of a consolidated document called a Reference Book..96 pages thick and standard green or brown issue. It had to be carried at all times by all Africans.
1990Weekend Post 24 Feb. (Leisure) 4The dream ended in ’57, when ‘reference books’ (passes) were introduced for black women. Resistance to passes remained firm, and rude treatment by Native Affairs and local police was soon replaced by the systematic brutality of the police Mobile Unit and rank denial of the process of law by the Native Commissioner’s court.
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