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THE SOUTH AFRICA ACT, 1909.
[9 Edw. 7. Ch. 9.] Whereas it is desirable for the welfare and future progress of South Africa that the several British colonies therein should be united under one government in a legislative union under the crown of Great Britain and Ireland:
And whereas it is expedient to make provision for the union of the Colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony on terms and conditions to which they have agreed by resolution of their respective Parliaments, and to define the executive, legislative, and judicial powers to be exercised in the government of the Union :
And whereas it is expedient to make provision for the establishment of provinces with powers of legislation and administration in local matters and in such other matters as may be specially reserved for provincia! legislation and administration:
And whereas it is expedient to provide for the eventual admission into the Union or transfer to the Union of such parts of South Africa as are not originally included therein:
Be it therefore enacted by the king's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
I. PRELIMINARY. 1. This act may be cited as the South Africa Act, 1909. 2. In this act, unless it is otherwise expressed or implied, the words the Union ” shall be taken to mean the Union of South Africa as constituted under this act, and the words “ Houses of Parliament,' of Parliament,” or “ Parliament,” shall be taken to mean the Parliament of the Union.
3. The provisions of this act referring to the king shall extend to his majesty's heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
9 6 House II. THE UNION.
4. It shall be lawful for the king, with the advice of the privy council, to declare by proclamation that, on and after a day therein appointed, not being later than one year after the passing of this act, the colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony, hereinafter called the colonies, shall be united in a legislative union under one government under the name of the Union of South Africa. On and after the day appointed by such proclamation the government and parliament of the Union shall have full power and authority within the limits of the colonies, but the king may at any time after the proclamation appoint a governor-general for the Union.
a 5. The provisions of this act shall, unless it is otherwise expı implied, take effect on and after the day so appointed.
6. The colonies mentioned in section four shall become original provinces of the Union under the names of Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State, as the case may be. The original provinces shall have the same limits as the respective colonies at the establishment of the Union.
7. Upon any colony entering the Union, the Colonial Boundaries Act, 1895, and every other act applying to any of the colonies as being selfgoverning colonies or colonies with responsible government, shall cease to apply to that colony, but as from the date when this act takes effect every such act of parliament shall apply to the Union.
III. EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT.
8. The executive government of the Union is vested in the king, and shall be administered by his majesty in person or by a governor-general as his representative.
9. The governor-general shall be appointed by the king, and shall have and may exercise in the Union during the king's pleasure, but subject to this act, such powers and functions of the king as his majesty may be pleased to assign to him.
10. There shall be payable to the king out of the consolidated, revenue fund of the Union for the salary of the governor-general an annual sum of ten thousand pounds. The salary of the governor-general shall not be altered during his continuance in office.
11. The provisions of this act relating to the governor-general extend and apply to the governor-general for the time being or such person as the king may appoint to administer the government of the Union. The king may authorize the governor-general to appoint any person to be his deputy within the Union during his temporary absence, and in that capacity to exercise for and on behalf of the governor-general during such absence all such powers and authorities vested in the governor general as the governor-general may assign to him, subject to any limitations expressed or directions given by the king, but the appointment of such deputy shall not affect the exercise by the governor-general himself of any power or function.
12. There shall be an executive council to advise the governor-general in the government of the Union and the members of the council shall be chosen and summoned by the governor-general and sworn as executive councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.
13. The provisions of this act referring to the governor-general in council shall be construed as referring to the governor-general acting with the advice of the executive council.
14. The governor-general may appoint officers not exceeding ten in number to administer such departments of state of the Union as the governor-general in council may establish; such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor-general. They shall be members of the executive council and shall be the king's ministers of state for the Union. After the first general election of members of the house of assembly, as hereinafter provided, no minister shall hold office for a longer period than three months unless he is or becomes a member of either house of parliament.
15. The appointment and removal of all officers of the public service of the Union shall be vested in the governor-general in council, unless the appointment is delegated by the governor-general in council or by this act or by a law of parliament to some other authority.
16. All powers, authorities, and functions which at the establishment of the Union are in any of the colonies vested in the governor or in the governor in council, or in any authority of the colony, shall as far as the same continue in existence and are capable of being exercised after the establishment of the Union, be vested in the governor-general or in the governor-general in council, or in the authority exercising similar powers under the Union, as the case may be, except such powers and functions as are by this act or may by a law of parliament be vested in some other authority.
17. The command in chief of the naval and military forces within the Union is vested in the king or in the governor-general as his representative.
18. Save as in section twenty-three excepted, Pretoria shall be the seat of government of the Union.
19. The legislative power of the Union shall be vested in the parliament of the Union, herein called parliament, which shall consist of the king, a senate, and a house of assembly.
20. The governor-general may appoint such times for holding the sessions of parliament as he thinks fit, and may also from time to time, by proclamation or otherwise, prorogue parliament, and may in like manner dissolve the senate and the house of assembly simultaneously, or the house of assembly alone: provided that the senate shall not be dissolved within a period of ten years after the establishment of the Union, and provided further that the dissolution of the senate shall not affect any senators nominated by the governor-general in council.
21. Parliament shall be summoned to meet not later than six months after the establishment of the Union.
22. There shall be a session of parliament once at least in every year, so that a period of twelve months shall not intervene between the last sitting of parliament in one session and its first sitting in the next session.
23. Cape Town shall be the seat of the legislature of the Union.
Senate. 24. For ten years after the establishment of the Union the constitution of the senate shall, in respect of the original provinces, be as follows:
(i) Eight senators shall be nominated by the governor-general in council, and for each original province eight senators shall be elected in the manner hereinafter provided :
(ii) The senators to be nominated by the governor-general in council shall hold their seats for ten years. One-half of their number shall be selected on the ground mainly of their thorough acquaintance, by reason of their official experience or otherwise, with the reasonable wants and wishes of the colored races in South Africa. If the seat of a senator so nominated shall become vacant, the governor-general in council shall nominate another person to be a senator, who shall hold his seat for ten years.