Official Languages of the Union Act, 1925

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Official Languages of the Union Act, 1925
Houses of Parliament (Cape Town).jpg
Act to remove doubts as to the meaning of the word "Dutch" in Section one hundred and thirty-seven of the South Africa Act, 1909, and wheresoever else that word occurs in the said Act.
CitationAct No. 8 of 1925
Territorial extentUnion of South Africa
Enacted byParliament of South Africa
Date of royal assent22 May 1925
Date commenced27 May 1925
Date repealed31 May 1961
Repealing legislation
Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1961
Related legislation
South Africa Act, 1909
Status: Repealed

The Official Languages of the Union Act, 1925 (Act No. 8 of 1925) was an act of the Parliament of South Africa that included Afrikaans as a variety of Dutch. It had the effect of making Afrikaans an official language of the Union of South Africa. It commenced on 27 May 1925 but was deemed to have had effect from the creation of the Union in 1910.

The South Africa Act, 1909, which was the constitution of the Union, had made English and Dutch the official languages of the country. Section 137 of the South Africa Act read:

Both the English and Dutch languages shall be official languages of the Union, and shall be treated on a footing of equality, and possess and enjoy equal freedom, rights, and privileges; all records, journals, and proceedings of Parliament shall be kept in both languages, and all Bills, Acts, and notices of general public importance or interest issued by the Government of the Union shall be in both languages.

The single substantive provision of the Official Languages Act, section 1, read:

The word “Dutch” in section one hundred and thirty-seven of the South Africa Act, 1909, and wheresoever else that word occurs in the said Act, is hereby declared to include Afrikaans.

The South Africa Act and the Official Languages Act were repealed by the Constitution of 1961, which reversed the position of Afrikaans and Dutch, so that English and Afrikaans were the official languages and Afrikaans was deemed to include Dutch. The Constitution of 1983 removed mention of Dutch.

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