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South Africa Government 1999

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
    conventional short form: South Africa
    abbreviation: RSA

    Data code: SF

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Pretoria (administrative); Cape Town (legislative); Bloemfontein (judicial)

    Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Northern Province, Western Cape

    Independence: 31 May 1910 (from UK)

    National holiday: Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)

    Constitution: 10 December 1996; this new constitution was certified by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996, was signed by President MANDELA on 10 December 1996, and entered into effect on 3 February 1997; it is being implemented in phases

    Legal system: based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Nelson MANDELA (since 10 May 1994); Executive Deputy President Thabo MBEKI (since 10 May 1994); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Nelson MANDELA (since 10 May 1994); Executive Deputy President Thabo MBEKI (since 10 May 1994); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections: president and executive deputy presidents elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms; election last held 9 May 1994 (next scheduled for sometime between May and July 1999)
    election results: Nelson MANDELA elected president; percent of National Assembly vote—100% (by acclamation); Thabo MBEKI and Frederik W. DE KLERK elected executive deputy presidents; percent of National Assembly vote—100% (by acclamation)
    note: the initial governing coalition, made up of the ANC, the IFP, and the NP, which constituted a Government of National Unity or GNU, no longer includes the NP which was withdrawn by DE KLERK on 30 June 1996 when he voluntarily gave up his position as executive deputy president and distanced himself from the programs of the ANC

    Legislative branch: bicameral parliament consisting of the National Assembly (400 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a system of proportional representation to serve five-year terms) and the National Council of Provinces (90 seats, 10 members elected by each of the nine provincial legislatures for five-year terms; has special powers to protect regional interests, including the safeguarding of cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities); note—following the implementation of the new constitution on 3 February 1997 the former Senate was disbanded and replaced by the National Council of Provinces with essentially no change in membership and party affiliations, although the new institution's responsibilities have been changed somewhat by the new constitution
    elections: National Assembly and Senate—last held 26-29 April 1994 (next to be held 2 June 1999); note—the Senate was disbanded and replaced by the National Council of Provinces on 6 February 1997
    election results: National Assembly—percent of vote by party—ANC 62.6%, NP 20.4%, IFP 10.5%, FF 2.2%, DP 1.7%, PAC 1.2%, ACDP 0.5%, other 0.9%; seats by party—ANC 252, NP 82, IFP 43, FF 9, DP 7, PAC 5, ACDP 2; Senate—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—ANC 61, NP 17, FF 4, IFP 5, DP 3

    Judicial branch: Constitutional Court; Supreme Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate Courts

    Political parties and leaders: African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE, president]; African National Congress or ANC [Thabo MBEKI, president]; Democratic Party or DP [Tony LEON, president]; Freedom Front or FF [Constand VILJOEN, president]; Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI, president]; National Party (now the New National Party) or NP [Marthinus VAN SCHALKWYK, executive director]; Pan-Africanist Congress or PAC [Stanley MOGOBA, president]; United Democratic Movement or UDM [Roelf MEYER, Bantu HOLOMISA]
    note: 11 other parties won votes in the April 1994 elections but not enough to gain seats in the National Assembly

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Congress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Sam SHILOWA, general secretary]; South African Communist Party or SACP [Charles NQAKULA, general secretary]; South African National Civics Organization or SANCO [Mlungisi HLONGWANE, national president]; note—COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the ANC

    International organization participation: AfDB, BIS, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NAM, NSG, OAU, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
    chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607
    consulate(s) general: Beverly Hills (California), Chicago, and New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador James A. JOSEPH
    embassy: 877 Pretorius St., Arcadia 0083
    mailing address: P.O. Box 9536, Pretoria 0001
    telephone: [27] (12) 342-1048
    FAX: [27] (12) 342-2244
    consulate(s) general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg

    Flag description: two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band which splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side, embracing a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes
    note: prior to 26 April 1994, the flag was actually four flags in one—three miniature flags reproduced in the center of the white band of the former flag of the Netherlands, which has three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and blue; the miniature flags are a vertically hanging flag of the old Orange Free State with a horizontal flag of the UK adjoining on the hoist side and a horizontal flag of the old Transvaal Republic adjoining on the other side

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)