Passbooks for non-whites made life the worse. So many people were arrested for forgetting them at home, losing them, or simply not being able to buy one. Every black person in South Africa was given a passbook at the age of sixteen; this record documented data on racial classification, name, sex, date of birth, residence, photo, marital status, driver’s license, dates of departure from and return to the country, place of work or study, and fingerprints. Approved passbooks granted black South Africans the ability to work in "white areas;" individuals who could not produce their passbook or whose passbooks were not approved were subject to imprisonment.
Separation of families was a very common and sad thing. What happened in most cases was the father disappeared, leaving the mother to have to work and provide for her children. The mother would just move closer to her job leaving her kids behind with another relative. You may ask, “what do you mean the father disappeared?” , what I mean is he either left the family, was arrested, or killed without warning so the family never knew what happened to him.