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English lesson 1986 No 4


Last month many people were very happy. All the newspapers said, “The Dompas is dead. No more pass arrests.” But now no-one knows for sure — if the dompas is dead or not.

The government wrote a “white paper”. The “white paper” said the dompas must go and people must get new identity books. If parliament likes the “white paper”, then it will become a law.

If parliament does not like it, the government must change the “white paper”. But parliament has not yet decided about the “white paper” and the dompas.

At the moment, this is how the dompas laws are working.


Everything is the same for people from countries like Swaziland and Lesotho. If you are from another country, you must have permission to be in South Africa. And you must be registered where you work.

One law has changed. Now you can ask to be a permanent South African resident. But no-one knows yet if the government will say yes.


The law says that people from TBVC (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei) homelands are not South African citizens — they are like people from other countries like Swaziland and Lesotho.

But someone at the Administration Board said people from the TBVC homelands can look for work in town. They do not need permission.

And the newspapers say the TBVC governments are still talking to the main South African government. Maybe people will be allowed to be citizens of a TBVC homeland and South Africa.


The Adminstration Board says that everyone else can look for work in town. They say people do not have to worry about stamps anymore, even if they come from Kwazulu or from the farms.

But no-one is sure. People say it is better not to get a new identity book. If the “white paper” changes, then the identity book will also change. The best thing is to wait and see.


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