The parliament of South Africa has dismantled the last pillar of apartheid law. The Population Registration Act of 1950 -- which required every South African to be registered as white, black, colored (mixed ancestry) or Asian -- is repealed. But nothing has replaced it. The change in law affects babies about to be born, who will not be registered. Everyone else already is. The rolls are not erased.
Racial classification combined with segregation laws gave most of South Africa to its fortunate minority and denied most of it to its majority. All but the registration law were already repealed. In the transitional timetable of President F. W. De Klerk, what happens next must be a negotiation of a new constitution to replace that of 1983.
Assuming a future voting age of 18, the end of registry for the newborn sets a deadline of 18 years to adopt the next constitution. Achievement in three years seems more likely. In the meantime, apartheid's end abolishes such anomalies as legally splitting families whose members are registered as racially different. But the blacks who could not vote before, still cannot. The Asians and Coloreds still vote for representatives to their racially distinct and powerless chambers of parliament.