South African Government

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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 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, including:

  • 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.

Source: South Africa Yearbook 2020/21

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