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National Assembly

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Parliament name Parliament
More photos  >>>
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Council of Provinces
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1994 -
President Baleka Mbete (F) 
Notes Elected on 21 May 2014.
Secretary General Masibulele Xaso (National Assembly) (M) 
Penelope Tyawa (Parliament) (a.i.) (F) 
Notes Ms. Penelope Tyawa: Acting Secretary to Parliament (12 June 2017 -)
Mr. Masibulele Xaso: Secretary of the National Assembly
Members (statutory / current number) 400 / 399

More statistics  >>>
Women (current number) 170 (42.61%)
Mode of designation directly elected 400
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 7 May 2014
(View details)
Address National Assembly
P.O. Box 15 - CAPE TOWN 8000
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (2721) 403 2911
Fax (2721) 461 9462
461 6287
(2721) 403 2604, 6287 (Secretary to Parliament)
E-mail info@parliament.gov.za


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Council of Provinces
Electoral law 1 December 1993
Mode of designation directly elected 400
Constituencies 9 multi-member (4 to 43 seats) constituencies corresponding to the provinces.
Voting system Proportional: Direct vote with proportional representation.
- 200 members chosen from national party lists
- 200 members chosen from regional party lists.
Each party receives four Assembly seats for each percentage of the nationwide vote won.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by the "next-in-line" candidates of the same party list.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- South African citizenship or person who in terms of an Act of Parliament has been accorded the right to exercise the franchise
- Registered voters living overseas may vote in the elections.
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 18 years
- South African citizenship or person who in terms of an Act of Parliament has been accorded the right to exercise the franchise
- residence in the constituency where running for election (regional candidates).
Incompatibilities - President of the Republic.
- any office of profit under the State
Candidacy requirements - candidates may be nominated by parties registered in terms of the Electoral Act 1993. - a party's list should not exceed 400 candidates and may either contain both a national list and a list for each region or only the lists from each region.
- monetary deposit of R25,000 (national election) and R5,000 (provincial election) required.


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Council of Provinces
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 7 May 2014
Timing and scope of renewal President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) won the elections, taking 249 of the 400 seats at stake in the National Assembly. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), led by Ms. Helen Zille, came in second with 89 seats, up from 67 in the previous legislature. Four parties entered Parliament for the first time. They include the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a new party led by former leader of ANC's Youth League, Mr. Julius Malema, which came in third with 25 seats. The remaining 37 seats went to ten other parties. On 21 May, the National Assembly elected Ms. Baleka Mbete as its Speaker and re-elected Mr. Zuma as the country's President.

During the election campaign, the ANC ran on the government's record, underscoring how life in South Africa had improved during 20 years of ANC rule since the first democratic elections in 1994. It promised to create decent jobs by directing the State to progressively buy at least 75% of its goods and services from South African producers. The DA criticized the ANC for not doing enough to tackle unemployment. It pledged to stop corruption. The EFF, which qualifies itself as Marxist-Leninist, promised the equal redistribution of lands and the nationalization of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.

The 2014 elections were the first to be held since the death in December 2013 of the national icon and former President Nelson Mandela (ANC), who had led the country after the end of apartheid in 1994. So-called "born frees" (those born after 1994) voted for the first time in 2014. A record 33 parties - up from 27 in 2009 - contested the elections.
Date of previous elections: 22 April 2009

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: N/A

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: May 2019

Number of seats at stake: 400 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 4,254 (2,089 candidates on the national lists and 2,165 on the regional lists)

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: 29

Number of parties winning seats: 13

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: African National Congress (ANC)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 21 May 2014

Name of the new Speaker: Ms. Baleka Mbete (ANC)
Voter turnout
Round no 17 May 2014
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
18'654'771 (73.48%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
African National Congress (ANC)
Democratic Alliance (DA)
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
National Freedom Party (NFP)
Freedom Front Plus (VF Plus)
United Democratic Movement (UDM)
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)
African Independent Congress (AIC)
Congress of the People (COPE)
Agang SA
African Peoples' Convention (APC)
Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
African National Congress (ANC) 249
Democratic Alliance (DA) 89
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) 25
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 10
National Freedom Party (NFP) 6
Freedom Front Plus (VF Plus) 4
United Democratic Movement (UDM) 4
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) 3
African Independent Congress (AIC) 3
Congress of the People (COPE) 3
Agang SA 2
African Peoples' Convention (APC) 1
Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Parliament (03.06.2014, 05.06.2014, 29.08.2014, 15.04.2015, 09.09.2015, 16.10.2015, 28.01.2016, 10.02.2016, 10.06.2016, 01.08.2016, 19.08.2016, 24.08.2016, 25.08.2016, 07.09.2016, 26.10.2016, 10.11.2016, 14.11.2016, 07.12.2016, 12.01.2017, 31.01.2017, 01.03.2017, 13.04.2017, 04.05.2017, 14.06.2017, 22.06.2017, 17.08.2017, 06.09.2017, 05.10.2017, 10.10.2017, 13.11.2017, 12.12.2017, 23.01.2018, 23.04.2018, 12.06.2018, 14.08.2018, 16.08.2018, 21.08.2018, 11.09.2018)


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Council of Provinces
Title Speaker of the National Assembly
Term - duration: 5 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: loss of mandate, removal by resolution of the National Assembly, resignation, dissolution of Parliament, death
Appointment - elected by all Members of the National Assembly at the first sitting of the newly elected Parliament or whenever the office becomes vacant
- after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Member has to be formally candidate
- nomination must be signed by 2 Members and the candidate
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot in one round (or more if no candidate obtains a majority)
- majority is required for all the votes cast; in the event of equality of votes, a new round is held

Procedures / results - the Chief Justice, or judge nominated by him, presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Chief Justice (who may appoint persons to assist him) supervises the voting
- the Chief Justice, or judge presiding, announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged
Status - his/her rank is equivalent to a Cabinet Minister
- the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate preside on monthly rotational basis over joint sittings of both Chambers
- represents the Assembly with the public authorities
- represents the Assembly in international bodies, with the President of the Senate such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Inter-Parliamentary Union
- is ex officio Chairman of the Rules Committee
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions

Material facilities - salary (R 320 400 pa)
+ parliamentary allowance (R 32 400 pa)
+ motorcar allowance (R 70 560 pa)
- accident insurance
- unlimited domestic air, rail and bus travel at the expense of Parliament
- official residence
- official car, with a permanent driver/body guard
- secretary + personal assistant
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions, in consultation with the Leader of the House
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of request for setting up committees which must comply with the Rules; may establish a committee during a period of adjournment of at least 14 days, after consultation with a Whip of each party

Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- may withdraw permission to speak if a Member speaking transgresses Rules, but list of speakers is determined by the Whips
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up
- verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- can check the quorum when lack of quorum is drawn to Speaker's attention by a Member
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates

Special powers - sets policy within which the Assembly's budget is compiled
- delegates specified responsabilities to the Secretary of Parliament in recruiting, assigning and promoting staff
- responsible for policy in organizing the services of the Assembly
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments, jointly with the President of Senate
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Assembly
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates
- takes part in voting only in event of equality votes
- may only intervene in the parliamentary oversight procedures to ensure observance of Rules
- may bring to the attention of the Executive if any bill does not comply with constitutional requirements
- may be consulted in certain circumstances (dissolution, appointment of the Prime Minister, institution of exceptional powers by the Head of State, etc.)

This page was last updated on 11 September 2018
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