Chapter 6


This chapter sets out the makeup of provincial legislatures and executives and their powers. It also sets out the areas over which both the national government and the provincial government may make laws and states what happens if these laws contradict each other. This chapter also deals with the drafting of provincial constitutions.

South Africa has nine provinces:

This chapter provides for each province to have its own legislature of between 30 and 80 members, voted into office for one term of five years. At its first sitting, the provincial legislature must elect a premier who is responsible for appointing 5 – 10 members to an Executive Council. The executive authority rests with the Executive Council which has the power, for example, to implement provincial and national legislation, and develop provincial policy.

In addition, provinces may draw up their own constitutions, provided these do not conflict with the national Constitution. These constitutions must be certified by the Constitutional Court. 

In the event of conflict between national and provincial legislation, the authority of national legislation prevails but a number of steps are prescribed to enable disputes to be settled.


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