SOUTH-AFRICA-L ArchivesArchiver > SOUTH-AFRICA > 2000-03 > 0953785765
From: Steve Hayes <>
Subject: RE: Identification Numbers
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 06:29:25 +0200
On 22 Mar 00, at 1:35, J A Semmelink wrote:
> In 1950 everyone was required to register and at some stage a card was
> issued with a number and a racial indicator (W for White, C for coloured
> etc) if I remember correctly. The card was laminated but I can not
> remember that it carried a photograph and the number did not carry any
> meaning. The card was issued to all deemed to be white, coloured or
> asian. Black people were issued with pass books. Originally only the men
> and at some stage later (1968??) black women also. The early passes being
> quite thick booklets which gradually became thinner.
The identity cards were based on the 1950 census.
They did have photographs, and the ID numbers were based on
where one resided at the time of the census. They began to be
issued from about 1955/56.
An interesting genealogical point - if, as the statistics office tells
us, census information is always destroyed after statistical
information is abstracted, how did they use this to issue ID
numbers? Could the 1950 census returns still be extant
Passes for black women began to be issued in the late 1950s, and
for males the pass book "dompas" began around 1952. I think it
was the "Natives: abolition of passes and consolidation of
documents Act" (it's interesting howmany Acts that introduced
something had titles saying they were abolishing it, or that were
abolishing something, said they were extending it).
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