Chapter 14

General Provisions

This chapter contains general provisions on various matters of the Constitution, such as the Constitution’s commencement dates. It also contains specific provisions about international agreements and customary international law and how these apply in South Africa. This chapter provides that international agreements become binding once they have been signed into law by Parliament, and customary international law is regarded as law in South Africa unless it flouts the Constitution or an act of Parliament. In addition, attention is given in this chapter – among other various matters – to the funding of political parties, the official and full legal description of the Constitution and its commencement date. 

This chapter also provides that if inconsistencies arise from the translation of the Constitution into the 11 languages, the English version is regarded as authoritative. Seven schedules are appended to the Constitution:
1: National flag
1a: Geographic area of provinces 
2: Oaths and solemn affirmations 
3: Election procedures 
4: Functional areas of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence 
5: Functional areas of exclusive provincial legislative competence
6: Transitional arrangements 
7: Laws repealed


Audio Visual

President Mandela gives his State of the Nation address in Parliament. Mandela ends his address with the words, “Let us all get down to work”.

“We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political and the human rights of all our citizens.”– President Mandela, extract from State of the Nation Address, 24 May 1994

President Nelson Mandela announces his cabinet. It includes members of the African National Congress, National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party.

“There was pride in serving in the first democratic government in South Africa, and then the additional pride of serving under the iconic leadership of Nelson Mandela … [He] represented the hopes of not just our country, but of oppressed, marginalised and the poor in the world.”– Jay Naidoo, then Minister of RDP housing
“We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”– President Nelson Mandela, 10 May 1994