Group Areas Act was the title of three acts of the Parliament of South Africa enacted under the apartheidgovernment of South Africa. The acts assigned racial groups to different residential and business sections in urban areas in a system of urban apartheid. An effect of the law was to exclude non-Whites from living in the most developed areas, which were restricted to Whites (e.g., Sea Point). It caused many non-Whites to have to commute large distances from their homes in order to be able to work. The law led to non-Whites being forcibly removed for living in the "wrong" areas. The non-white majority were given much smaller areas to live in than the white minority who owned most of the country. Pass Laws required that non-Whites carry pass books, and later 'reference books' (similar to passports) to enter the 'white' parts of the country.
The first Group Areas Act, the Group Areas Act, 1950 was promulgated on 7 July 1950, and it was implemented over a period of several years. It was amended by Parliament in 1952, 1955 (twice), 1956 and 1957. Later in 1957 it was repealed and re-enacted in consolidated form as the Group Areas Act, 1957, which was amended in 1961, 1962, and 1965. In 1966 this version was in turn repealed and re-enacted as the Group Areas Act, 1966, which was subsequently amended in 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, and 1984. It was repealed (along with many other discriminatory laws) on 30 June 1991 by the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act, 1991.