Structure and functions of the South African Government

Introduction
Government clusters
Izimbizo
National Development Plan
Monitoring and evaluation
Programme of Action

 

Introduction

South Africa is a constitutional democracy with a three-tier system of government and an independent judiciary.

The national, provincial and local levels of government all have legislative and executive authority in their own spheres, and are defined in the Constitution as distinctive, interdependent and interrelated.

Operating at both national and provincial levels are advisory bodies drawn from South Africa’s traditional leaders.

It is a stated intention in the Constitution that the country be run on a system of cooperative governance.

Government is committed to the building of a free, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and successful South Africa.

Legislative authority

Parliament (national)

• National Assembly (350 – 400 members)
• National Council of Provinces (90 delegates)

Provincial Legislature (provincial)

Executive authority

Cabinet (national)

• President
• Deputy President
• Ministers

Provincial executive councils

• Premier
• Members of the Executive Council

Judicial authority

Courts including the:

• Constitutional Court
• Supreme Court of Appeal
• High courts
• Magistrates' courts

The Judicial Service Commission appoints judges.

State institutions supporting democracy

• Public Protector
• Human Rights Commission
• Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities
• Commission for Gender Equality
• Auditor-General of South Africa
• Independent Communications Authority of South Africa

Operating at both national and provincial levels are advisory bodies drawn from South Africa's traditional leaders. It is a stated intention in the Constitution that the country be run on a system of cooperative governance.

Government is committed to the building of a free, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and successful South Africa.

Government clusters

Government clusters are groupings of government departments with cross-cutting programmes. They foster an integrated approach to governance that is aimed at improving government planning, decision-making and service delivery. The main objective is to ensure proper coordination of all government programmes at national and provincial levels.

The main functions of the clusters are to ensure the alignment of government-wide priorities, facilitate and monitor the implementation of priority programmes and to provide a consultative platform on cross-cutting priorities and matters being taken to Cabinet.

The clusters of the Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD) mirror the ministerial clusters. The FOSAD clusters provide technical support to the ministerial clusters.

The Director-General (DG) in The Presidency is the chairperson of FOSAD. Ministers enter into delivery agreements with the President, having to give progress reports on their departments’ set targets.

The 12 outcomes identified by Government include:

  • improved quality of basic education
  • a long and healthy life for all South Africans
  • all people in South Africa are and feel safe
  • decent employment through inclusive economic growth
  • a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path
  • an efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network
  • vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities with food security for all
  • sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life
  • a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system
  • environmental assets and natural resources that are well protected and continually enhanced
  • a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa and world
  • an efficient, effective and development-oriented Public Service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship.

Economic Sectors, Investment, Employment and Infrastructure Development

The ministries in this cluster are:

  • Mineral Resources and Energy (Chair)
  • Tourism (Chair)
  • Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
  • Communications
  • Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
  • Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Employment and Labour
  • Finance
  • Higher Education, Science and Technology
  • Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
  • International Relations and Cooperation
  • Police
  • Public Enterprises
  • Public Works and Infrastructure
  • Small Business Development
  • State Security
  • The Presidency
  • Trade and Industry
  • Transport
  • Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (in The Presidency)

    Governance, State Capacity and Institutional Development

    The ministries in this cluster are:

    • Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Chair)
    • Public Service and Administration (Chair)
    • Finance
    • Home Affairs
    • Justice and Correctional Services
    • The Presidency
    • Public Enterprises
    • Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (in The Presidency)

    Social Protection, Community and Human Development

    The ministries in this cluster are:

    • Health (Chair)
    • Basic Education (Chair)
    • Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
    • Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
    • Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
    • Employment and Labour
    • Higher Education, Science and Technology
    • Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
    • Justice and Correctional Services
    • Public Works and Infrastructure
    • Small Business Development
    • Social Development
    • Sports, Arts and Culture
    • The Presidency
    • Transport
    • Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (in The Presidency)

    International Cooperation, Trade and Security

    The ministries in this cluster are:

    • Sports, Arts and Culture (Chair)
    • Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (Chair)
    • Communications
    • Defence and Military Veterans
    • Finance
    • International Relations and Cooperation
    • Justice and Correctional Services
    • Mineral Resources and Energy
    • State Security
    • The Presidency
    • Tourism
    • Trade and Industry

    Justice, Crime Prevention and Security

    The ministries in this cluster are:

    • Defence and Military Veterans (Chair)
    • Police (Chair)
    • Finance
    • Home Affairs
    • International Relations and Cooperation
    • Justice and Correctional Services
    • Social Development
    • State Security
    • Small Business Development
    • The Presidency
    • Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (in The Presidency)

    Izimbizo

    The 8th National Imbizo Focus Week was held from 9 to 15 July 2018 under the theme “Together we move South Africa  forward”. This was followed by the 9th National Imbizo Fortnight of Activism from 12 to 25 November 2018 held under the same theme.

    The Imbizo is an opportunity for government to engage the public on the implementation of its Programme of Action to help improve people’s lives.

    The event took place during the year in which the country was celebrating the centenaries of two struggle icons: former President Nelson Rholihlahla and Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu.

    National Development Plan (NDP) 2030

    The NDP is South Africa’s socio-economic policy blueprint that focuses, among other things, on:

    • eliminating poverty by reducing the proportion of households with a monthly income below R419 per person from 39% to zero and the reduction of inequality
    • increasing employment from 13 million in 2010 to 24 million by 2030
    • broadening the country’s ownership of assets by historically disadvantaged groups
    • ensuring that all children have at least two years of pre-school education and that all children can read and write by Grade 3
    • providing affordable access to healthcare
    • ensuring effective public transport.

    Monitoring and evaluation

    Institutional Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (IPME)

    IPME monitors the quality of management practices in government departments through the Management Performance Assessment Tool.

    The Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring programme of IPME is responsible for designing and implementing hands-on service delivery monitoring activities with Offices of the Premier and for setting up and supporting the implementation of citizens-based monitoring systems.

    The Presidential Hotline is also located in this branch.

    Programme of Action

    Government’s Programme of Action reflects its strategic plan for the 2014 – 2019 MTSF – the first five-year implementation phase of the NDP.

    It is structured around 14 priority outcomes which cover the focus areas identified in the NDP and government’s electoral mandate: education, health, safety and security, economic growth and employment, skills development, infrastructure, rural development, human settlements, local government, environment, international relations, public sector, social protection, nation-building and social cohesion.

    Operation Phakisa was designed to fast-track the implementation of solutions on critical development issues. This is a unique initiative to address issues highlighted in the NDP such as unemployment and poverty.

    Source: South Africa Yearbook 2018/19

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