The laws also affected other non-white races. Indian people, for example, were barred from the Orange Free State.
This conflict climaxed at the Sharpeville Massacre where the black opposition was violently put down, with 69 people killed and over 180 injured.
The system of pass laws was repealed in South Africa in 1986.
Pass laws also stated that black Africans could not hold a higher business position within a company than the lowest white employee.
The first pass laws were introduced in 1760 to regulate the movement of slaves in the Cape. The Urban Areas Consolidation Act of 1945, together with the Natives (Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents) Act of 1952, were key laws. The Urban Areas Act outlined requirements for African peoples' "qualification" to reside legally in white metropolitan areas. To do so, they had to have Section 10 rights, based on whether
The document was similar to an internal passport, containing details on the bearer such as their fingerprints, photograph, the name of his/her employer, his/her address, how long the bearer had been employed, as well as other identification information. Employers often entered a behavioural evaluation, on the conduct of the pass holder.
An employer was defined under the law and could be only a white person. The pass also documented permission requested and denied or granted to be in a certain region and the reason for seeking such permission. Under the terms of the law, any governmental employee could strike out such entries, basically canceling the permission to remain in the area.
A pass book without a valid entry then allowed officials to arrest and imprison the bearer of the pass. These passes often became the most despised symbols of apartheid. The resistance to the Pass Law led to many thousands of arrests and was the spark that ignited the Sharpeville Massacre on 21 March 1960, and led to the arrest of Robert Sobukwe on that same date.