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The Constitution and you

As we celebrate Freedom Month, Vuk'uzenzele has summarised the constitution to detail how each chapter impacts your life.

What does our Constitution provide for?

Chapter 1

Contains the founding provisions and provides that the Republic of South Africa is one sovereign democratic state founded on the following values: human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism and the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Chapter 2

Contains the Bill of Rights which is the cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy. It enshrines the rights of all people in South Africa and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

Chapter 3

Unpacks the organs of government. In the Republic, government is constituted as national, provincial and local spheres of government which are distinctive, interdependent and interrelated.

Chapter 4

Defines the structure of Parliament, the legislative branch of the national government.

Chapter 5

Outlines the structure of the national executive and the powers of the President. The President is the Head of State and head of the national executive and must uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic; and promote the unity of the nation and that which will advance the Republic.

Chapter 6

Establishes the nine provinces of South Africa and defines the powers and structure of the provincial governments.

Chapter 7

Sets out the guideline for local government and its municipalities.

Chapter 8

Unpacks the courts and administration of justice through the Judicial System and the Judicial Authority.

Chapter 9

Highlights the State institutions that strengthen constitutional democracy in the Republic such as the, Public Protector, South African Human Rights Commission and others.

Chapter 10

Highlights public administration that must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Chapter 11

Establishes structures for civilian control of the Defence Force, the Police Service and the intelligence services.

Chapter 12

Recognizes the status and authority of traditional leaders and customary law, subject to the Constitution.

Chapter 13

Deals with public finance. It establishes a National Revenue Fund, from which money may be appropriated only by an act of Parliament, and Provincial Revenue Funds, from which money may only be appropriated by an act of the provincial legislature.

Chapter 14

Deals with transitional and incidental provisions. In particular, the first part deals with international law, providing that existing agreements binding South Africa will continue to bind it, and that new agreements (except those of a technical nature) will only be binding once approved by Parliament.