Long before the inception of apartheid, “Coloured” people in South Africa occupied this precarious position between White and Black South Africans. This position was intensified during apartheid by the creation of a separate identity, reinforced by the various apartheid laws that strived to keep racial groups apart. Some of these laws included the Mixed Marriages Act, the Immorality Act and the Group Areas Act.
Though not aimed exclusively at “Coloureds”, this legislation served to entrench a separate identity even further. The culmination of this was the Separate Representation of Voters Act, in which “Coloureds” were placed on a separate voters’ role and were restricted to voting two White parliamentarians into office. Despite the great opposition it was met with, the apartheid government took it a step further and created a separate Department of “Coloured” Affairs in 1958. On 23 October, this department was established with I.D. Du Plessis as its head. “Coloured” South Africans, along the black and Indian population, waged a long battle to have their political rights recognized. By the 1980s, a Tricameral Parliament was created, in which “Coloureds” were granted the right to vote, but still in separate houses of representation. It was only with the dismantling of apartheid that the CAD was dissolved and that “Coloureds” along with all other South Africans were granted the right to political representation.
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