By using new sources and a complementary historical and geoanalytical approach, this article illustrates that the Natives Land Act (no. 27 of 1913) failed to stop Africans from buying land. New evidence demonstrates that
African land ownership outside the reserves in the Transvaal actually increased after 1913. This evidence leads to a deeper questioning of the extent to which the South African government was able to impose rural territorial segregation by 1936 and reveals the limits of white power in the early Union period.