Provincial government

In accordance with the Constitution, each province has its own legislature, consisting of between 30 and 80 members.

The number of members is determined according to a formula set out in national legislation. The members are elected in terms of proportional representation.

The executive council of a province consists of a premier and a number of members (MECs). Premiers are appointed by the President.

Decisions are taken by consensus, as is the case in the national Cabinet. Besides being able to make provincial laws, a provincial legislature may adopt a constitution for its province if two thirds of its members agree.

A provincial constitution must correspond with the national Constitution

According to the Constitution, provinces may have legislative and executive powers, concurrent with the national sphere, over:

  • agriculture
  • casinos, racing, gambling and wagering
  • cultural affairs
  • education at all levels, excluding university and university of technology education
  • environment
  • health services
  • human settlements
  • language policy
  • nature conservation
  • police services
  • provincial public media
  • public transport
  • regional planning and development
  • road-traffic regulation
  • tourism
  • trade and industrial promotion
  • traditional authorities
  • urban and rural development
  • vehicle licensing
  • welfare services.

These powers can be exercised to the extent that provinces have the administrative capacity to assume effective responsibilities. Provinces also have exclusive competency over a number of areas, which include:

  • abattoirs
  • ambulance services
  • liquor licences
  • museums other than national museums
  • provincial planning
  • provincial cultural matters
  • provincial recreational activities
  • provincial roads and traffic.

The President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) is a statutory body established in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act of 2005, which brings together the three spheres of government on matters of common interest and national importance, thereby strengthening cooperative government. Among other things, the forum looked at:

  • mechanisms for monitoring job creation and implementation of the New Growth Path (NGP) in all spheres of government
  • shared experiences in creating an environment for job creation in provinces
  • specific provincial matters
  • monitoring and evaluation.

Provincial Spatial Development Framework (PSDF)

The PSDF aims to:

  • be the spatial expression of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy
  • guide (metropolitan, district and local) municipal IDPs and spatial development frameworks and provincial and municipal framework plans
  • help prioritise and align the investment and infrastructure plans of other provincial departments, as well as national departments’ and parastatals’ plans and programmes in the provinces
  • provide clear signals to the private sector about desired development directions
  • increase predictability in the development environment, for example by establishing “no-go,” “conditional” and “go” areas for development and redress of the spatial legacy of apartheid.

Source: South Africa Yearbook 2015/16

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