Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 8. May 31, 1939
The Native Service Contract Act also states that every native living on a Epropean farm must give 180 days' work to his master each year. The right to decide which days the native shall work rests with the employer, and to keep the black permanently to the farm, owners usually spread the term of service over the whole year. No wages are paid, the native is merely given a plot of land, upon which he builds a hut and grows mealie and kaffir corn. Any breach of the Act makes the black liable to criminal prosecution and imprisonment. The African may not terminate his service at his own will but must obtain permission of his employer to leave. On the passing or this Act thousands of independent cultivators became serfs.
An easy method of getting the natives to work is by the tax laws. In South Africa every male native, employer or not, has to pay a tax of £1 to £1/10/-. "Poor whites" the Union are exempt from all forms of direct taxation, and Europeans with incomes of £500 and less pay practically nothing. 18.915 natives were convicted in 1936 for failure to pay their taxes.
Particularly iniquitous are the Pass laws. A Trek Pass gives the bearer the right to travel and must be obtained before the native leaves his Reserve to go to town. A Traveling Pass must be produced to secure a railway ticket.
A strong deterrent to active protest by natives against their abominable social conditions is the Riotous Assemblies Act. This law empowers the Minister of Justice to order the arrest and banishment without trial of any African "creating feelings of hostility between Europeans and natives."