South Africa: Government

Republic of South Africa Flag
Coat of Arms of Republic of South Africa

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Jacob Zuma

Head of Government: President Jacob Zuma

Overview

Government Name: Republic of South Africa

Constitution: Adopted: 1996; Establishes the legal foundation for the existence of the republic, sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of the government. The current constitution was drawn up by the Parliament first elected in non-racial elections in 1994.

Government Type: Republic

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

Responsible for executing laws made by parliament.

President is elected by the National Assembly.

5 years

Judicial

Interprets the laws, using as a basis the laws as enacted and explanatory statements made in the legislature during the enactment.

Appointed by president.

12 years

Legislative

Creates laws and supervises the actions of the other two branches of government with permission to chang the laws when appropriate.

National Council of Provinces members are nominated by regional legislatures, and National Assembly members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system.

National Council of Provinces: 5 years; National Assembly: 4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Having emerged from the international isolation of the apartheid era, South Africa has become a leading international actor. Its principal foreign policy objective is to promote the economic, political, and cultural regeneration of Africa, through the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD); to promote the peaceful resolution of conflict in Africa; and to use multilateral bodies to insure that developing countries' voices are heard on international issues. South Africa has played a key role in seeking an end to various conflicts and political crises on the African continent, including in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Sudan, Comoros, and Zimbabwe.

Regional Trade Blocs: SADC

Treaties: Peace and Security Council


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ACP AfDB AU BIS BRICS C
CD FAO FATF G-20 G-24 G-77
IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC ICRM IDA
IFAD IFC IFRCS IHO ILO IMF
IMO IMSO Interpol IOC IOM IPU
ISO ITSO ITU ITUC MIGA MONUSCO
NAM NSG OECD OPCW Paris Club PCA
SACU SADC UN UNAMID UNCTAD UNESCO
UNHCR UNIDO UNITAR UNSC UNWTO UPU
WCO WFTU WHO WIPO WMO WTO
ZC

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Antarctic Seals Antarctic Treaty Antarctic-Environmental Protocol Antarctic-Marine Living Resources Biodiversity Climate Change
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea Marine Dumping
Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Wetlands Whaling

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service

Tax Name: VAT


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary