Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, as amended to 2012


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter2 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) There is a common South African citizenship.
(2) All citizens are-
(a) equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; and
(b) equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
(3) National legislation must provide for the acquisition, loss and restoration of citizenship. (Sec. 3)

Citizenship and Nationality

No citizen may be deprived of citizenship. (Sec. 20)

Composition and Appointment

(1) Any appropriately qualified woman or man who is a fit and proper person may be appointed as a judicial officer. Any person to be appointed to the Constitutional Court must also be a South African citizen.
(2) The need for the judiciary to reflect broadly the racial and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when judicial officers are appointed.
… (Sec. 174)

Composition and Appointment

(1) The President may appoint a woman or man to serve as an acting Deputy Chief Justice or judge of the Constitutional Court if there is a vacancy in any of those offices, or if the person holding such an office is absent. The appointment must be made on the recommendation of the Cabinet member responsible for the administration of justice acting with the concurrence of the Chief Justice, and an appointment as acting Deputy Chief Justice must be made from the ranks of the judges who had been appointed to the Constitutional Court in terms of section 174(4). … (Sec. 175)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) Members of the National Assembly may apply to the Constitutional Court for an order declaring that all or part of an Act of Parliament is unconstitutional.
… (Sec. 80)

Jurisdiction and Access

(3) The Constitutional Court-
(a) is the highest court of the Republic; and
(b) may decide -
(i) constitutional matters; and
(ii) any other matter, if the Constitutional Court grants leave to appeal on the grounds that the matter raises an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by that Court; and
(c) makes the final decision whether a matter is within its jurisdiction.
(4) Only the Constitutional Court may -
(a) decide disputes between organs of state in the national or provincial sphere concerning the constitutional status, powers or functions of any of those organs of state;
(b) decide on the constitutionality of any parliamentary or provincial Bill, but may do so only in the circumstances anticipated in section 79 or 121;
(c) decide applications envisaged in section 80 or 122;
(d) decide on the constitutionality of any amendment to the Constitution;
(e) decide that Parliament or the President has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation; or
(f) certify a provincial constitution in terms of section 144.
(5) The Constitutional Court makes the final decision whether an Act of Parliament, a provincial Act or conduct of the President is constitutional, and must confirm any order of invalidity made by the Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court of South Africa, or a court of similar status, before that order has any force.
(6) National legislation or the rules of the Constitutional Court must allow a person, when it is in the interests of justice and with leave of the Constitutional Court—
(a) to bring a matter directly to the Constitutional Court; or
(b) to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court from any other court.
(7) A constitutional matter includes any issue involving the interpretation, protection or enforcement of the Constitution. (Sec. 167)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) The High Court of South Africa may decide-
(a) any constitutional matter except a matter that-
(i) the Constitutional Court has agreed to hear directly in terms of section 167(6)(a); or
(ii) is assigned by an Act of Parliament to another court of a status similar to the High Court of South Africa; and
(b) any other matter not assigned to another court by an Act of Parliament.
… (Sec. 169)

Jurisdiction and Access

(2) (a) The Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court of South Africa or a court of similar status may make an order concerning the constitutional validity of an Act of Parliament, a provincial Act or any conduct of the President, but an order of constitutional invalidity has no force unless it is confirmed by the Constitutional Court.
(b) A court which makes an order of constitutional invalidity may grant a temporary interdict or other temporary relief to a party, or may adjourn the proceedings, pending a decision of the Constitutional Court on the validity of that Act or conduct.
(c) National legislation must provide for the referral of an order of constitutional invalidity to the Constitutional Court.
(d) Any person or organ of state with a sufficient interest may appeal, or apply, directly to the Constitutional Court to confirm or vary an order of constitutional invalidity by a court in terms of this subsection.
… (Sec. 172)

Education

(1) Everyone has the right-
(a) to a basic education, including adult basic education; and
(b) to further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible.
(2) Everyone has the right to receive education in the official language or languages of their choice in public educational institutions where that education is reasonably practicable. In order to ensure the effective access to, and implementation of, this right, the state must consider all reasonable educational alternatives, including single medium institutions, taking into account-
(a) equity;
(b) practicability; and
(c) the need to redress the results of past racially discriminatory laws and practices. (Sec. 29)

Employment Rights and Protection

Every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. The practice of a trade, occupation or profession may be regulated by law. (Sec. 22)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

… We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to- …
Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values:
(a) Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.
(b) Non-racialism and non-sexism.
… (Sec. 1)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
… (Sec. 7)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
(2) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.
(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.
(5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair. (Sec. 9)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum—
(a) must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom;
… (Sec. 39)

Gender Equality Machineries

(1) The following state institutions strengthen constitutional democracy in the Republic:

(d) The Commission for Gender Equality.
… (Sec. 181)

Gender Equality Machineries

(1) The Commission for Gender Equality must promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
(2) The Commission for Gender Equality has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality.
(3) The Commission for Gender Equality has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation. (Sec. 187)

Gender Equality Machineries

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter3 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Gender Equality Machineries

(1) In this section “constitutional institution” means –

(c) the Commission on Gender Equality;

(2) A constitutional institution established in terms of the previous Constitution continues to function in terms of the legislation applicable to it, and anyone holding office as a commission member, a member of the board of the Reserve Bank or the Pan South African Language Board, the Public Protector or the Auditor-General when the new Constitution takes effect, continues to hold office in terms of the legislation applicable to that office, subject to -
(a) any amendment or repeal of that legislation; and
(b) consistency with the new Constitution.
… (Schedule 6, Transitional Arrangements, Sec. 20)

Obligations of the State

… We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to –
Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values:
(a) Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.
… (Sec. 1)

Obligations of the State

(1) This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
(2) The state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.
… (Sec. 7)

Obligations of the State

(1) The Bill of Rights applies to all law, and binds the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and all organs of state. … (Sec. 8)

Obligations of the State

(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

Obligations of Private Parties

(2) A provision of the Bill of Rights binds a natural or a juristic person if, and to the extent that, it is applicable, taking into account the nature of the right and the nature of any duty imposed by the right.
(3) When applying a provision of the Bill of Rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2), a court-
(a) in order to give effect to a right in the Bill, must apply, or if necessary develop, the common law to the extent that legislation does not give effect to that right; and
(b) may develop rules of the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section 36 (1).
… (Sec. 8)

Judicial Protection

(2) A provision of the Bill of Rights binds a natural or a juristic person if, and to the extent that, it is applicable, taking into account the nature of the right and the nature of any duty imposed by the right.
(3) When applying a provision of the Bill of Rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2), a court-
(a) in order to give effect to a right in the Bill, must apply, or if necessary develop, the common law to the extent that legislation does not give effect to that right; and
(b) may develop rules of the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section 36 (1).
… (Sec. 8)

Judicial Protection

Anyone listed in this section has the right to approach a competent court, alleging that a right in the Bill of Rights has been infringed or threatened, and the court may grant appropriate relief, including a declaration of rights. The persons who may approach a court are—
(a) anyone acting in their own interest;
(b) anyone acting on behalf of another person who cannot act in their own name;
(c) anyone acting as a member of, or in the interest of, a group or class of persons;
(d) anyone acting in the public interest; and
(e) an association acting in the interest of its members. (Sec. 38)

Judicial Protection

(1) When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum –
(a) must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom;
(b) must consider international law; and
(c) may consider foreign law.
(2) When interpreting any legislation, and when developing the common law or customary law, every court, tribunal or forum must promote the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights.
(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) The South African Human Rights Commission must—
(a) promote respect for human rights and a culture of human rights;
(b) promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and
(c) monitor and assess the observance of human rights in the Republic.
(2) The South African Human Rights Commission has the powers, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power—
(a) to investigate and to report on the observance of human rights;
(b) to take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated;
(c) to carry out research; and
(d) to educate.
… (Sec. 184)

National Human Rights Bodies

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter4 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(2) A provision of the Bill of Rights binds a natural or a juristic person if, and to the extent that, it is applicable, taking into account the nature of the right and the nature of any duty imposed by the right.
(3) When applying a provision of the Bill of Rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2), a court-
(a) in order to give effect to a right in the Bill, must apply, or if necessary develop, the common law to the extent that legislation does not give effect to that right; and
(b) may develop rules of the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section 36 (1).
… (Sec. 8)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) The rights in the Bill of Rights may be limited only in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including—
(a) the nature of the right;
(b) the importance of the purpose of the limitation;
(c) the nature and extent of the limitation;
(d) the relation between the limitation and its purpose; and
(e) less restrictive means to achieve the purpose.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (1) or in any other provision of the Constitution, no law may limit any right entrenched in the Bill of Rights. (Sec. 36)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(4) Any legislation enacted in consequence of a declaration of a state of emergency may derogate from the Bill of Rights only to the extent that—
(a) the derogation is strictly required by the emergency; and
(b) the legislation—
(i) is consistent with the Republic’s obligations under international law applicable to states of emergency;
(ii) conforms to subsection (5); and
(iii) is published in the national Government Gazette as soon as reasonably possible after being enacted.
(5) No Act of Parliament that authorises a declaration of a state of emergency, and no legislation enacted or other action taken in consequence of a declaration, may permit or authorise—
(a) indemnifying the state, or any person, in respect of any unlawful act;
(b) any derogation from this section; or
(c) any derogation from a section mentioned in column 1 of the Table of Non-Derogable Rights,5 to the extent indicated opposite that section in column 3 of the Table.6
… (Sec. 37)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

Marriage and Family Life

(2) Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that-
(a) those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;
(b) they are conducted on an equitable basis; and
(c) attendance at them is free and voluntary.
(3) (a) This section does not prevent legislation recognising-
(i) marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or
(ii) systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.
(b) Recognition in terms of paragraph (a) must be consistent with this section and the other provisions of the Constitution. (Sec. 15)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Every child has the right—

(b) to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment; … (Sec. 28)

Minorities

(1) Persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community—
(a) to enjoy their culture, practise their religion and use their language; and
(b) to form, join and maintain cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society.
(2) The rights in subsection (1) may not be exercised in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights. (Sec. 31)

Minorities

(1) The primary objects of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities are—
(a) to promote respect for the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
(b) to promote and develop peace, friendship, humanity, tolerance and national unity among cultural, religious and linguistic communities, on the basis of equality, non-discrimination and free association; and
(c) to recommend the establishment or recognition, in accordance with national legislation, of a cultural or other council or councils for a community or communities in South Africa.
(2) The Commission has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to achieve its primary objects, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities.
… (Sec. 185)

Minorities

(1) The number of members of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and their appointment and terms of office must be prescribed by national legislation.
(2) The composition of the Commission must—
(a) be broadly representative of the main cultural, religious and linguistic communities in South Africa; and
(b) broadly reflect the gender composition of South Africa. (Sec. 186)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(2) National legislation that applies uniformly with regard to the country as a whole prevails over provincial legislation if any of the following conditions is met:

(c) The national legislation is necessary for-

(v) the promotion of equal opportunity or equal access to government services;
... (Sec. 146)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) Any appropriately qualified woman or man who is a fit and proper person may be appointed as a judicial officer. Any person to be appointed to the Constitutional Court must also be a South African citizen.
(2) The need for the judiciary to reflect broadly the racial and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when judicial officers are appointed.
… (Sec. 174)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) The number of members of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and their appointment and terms of office must be prescribed by national legislation.
(2) The composition of the Commission must –
(a) be broadly representative of the main cultural, religious and linguistic communities in South Africa; and
(b) broadly reflect the gender composition of South Africa. (Sec. 186)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) The Public Protector and the members of any Commission established by this Chapter must be women or men who -
(a) are South African citizens;
(b) are fit and proper persons to hold the particular office; and
(c) comply with any other requirements prescribed by national legislation.
(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter7 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
(3) The Auditor-General must be a woman or a man who is a South African citizen and a fit and proper person to hold that office. Specialised knowledge of, or experience in, auditing, state finances and public administration must be given due regard in appointing the Auditor-General.
(4) The President, on the recommendation of the National Assembly, must appoint the Public Protector, the Auditor-General and the members of -
(a) the South African Human Rights Commission;
(b) the Commission for Gender Equality; and
(c) the Electoral Commission.
… (Sec. 193)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) There is a single Public Service Commission for the Republic.

(10) A commissioner is appointed for a term of five years, which is renewable for one additional term only, and must be a woman or a man who is –
(a) a South African citizen; and
(b) a fit and proper person with knowledge of, or experience in, administration, management or the provision of public services.
… (Sec. 196)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) The President as head of the national executive must appoint a woman or a man as the National Commissioner of the police service, to control and manage the police service.

(3) The National Commissioner, with the concurrence of the provincial executive, must appoint a woman or a man as the provincial commissioner for that province, but if the National Commissioner and the provincial executive are unable to agree on the appointment, the Cabinet member responsible for policing must mediate between the parties.
… (Sec. 207)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(2) The President as head of the national executive must appoint a woman or a man as head of each intelligence service established in terms of subsection (1), and must either assume political responsibility for the control and direction of any of those services, or designate a member of the Cabinet to assume that responsibility. (Sec. 209)

Political Rights and Association

Everyone has the right to freedom of association. (Sec. 18)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right -
(a) to form a political party;
(b) to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and
(c) to campaign for a political party or cause.
(2) Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution.
(3) Every adult citizen has the right -
(a) to vote in elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution, and to do so in secret; and
(b) to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office. (Sec. 19)

Political Parties

To enhance multi-party democracy, national legislation must provide for the funding of political parties participating in national and provincial legislatures on an equitable and proportional basis. (Sec. 236)

Electoral Bodies

(1) The following state institutions strengthen constitutional democracy in the Republic:

(f) The Electoral Commission.
… (Sec. 181)

Electoral Bodies

(1) The Electoral Commission must -
(a) manage elections of national, provincial and municipal legislative bodies in accordance with national legislation;
(b) ensure that those elections are free and fair; and
(c) declare the results of those elections within a period that must be prescribed by national legislation and that is as short as reasonably possible.
(2) The Electoral Commission has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation. (Sec. 190)

Electoral Bodies

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter8 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Head of State

The President –
(a) is the Head of State and head of the national executive;
(b) must uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic; and
(c) promotes the unity of the nation and that which will advance the Republic. (Sec. 83)

Head of State

(1) At its first sitting after its election, and whenever necessary to fill a vacancy, the National Assembly must elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.
… (Sec. 86)

Vice-President

(1) When the President is absent from the Republic or otherwise unable to fulfil the duties of President, or during a vacancy in the office of President, an office-bearer in the order below acts as President:
(a) The Deputy President.
… (Sec. 90)

Vice-President

(2) The President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them.
(3) The President –
(a) must select the Deputy President from among the members of the National Assembly;
… (Sec. 91)

Government

(1) The executive authority of the Republic is vested in the President.
(2) The President exercises the executive authority, together with the other members of the Cabinet, … (Sec. 85)

Government

(1) The Cabinet consists of the President, as head of the Cabinet, a Deputy President and Ministers.
(2) The President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them.
(3) The President –
(a) must select the Deputy President from among the members of the National Assembly;
(b) may select any number of Ministers from among the members of the Assembly; and
(c) may select no more than two Ministers from outside the Assembly.
(4) The President must appoint a member of the Cabinet to be the leader of government business in the National Assembly.
… (Sec. 91)

Legislature

(1) Parliament consists of –
(a) the National Assembly; and
(b) the National Council of Provinces.
(2) The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces participate in the legislative process in the manner set out in the Constitution.
… (Sec. 42)

Legislature

(1) The National Assembly consists of no fewer than 350 and no more than 400 women and men elected as members in terms of an electoral system that–
(a) is prescribed by national legislation;
(b) is based on the national common voters roll;
(c) provides for a minimum voting age of 18 years; and
(d) results, in general, in proportional representation. (Sec. 46)

Legislature

(1) Every citizen who is qualified to vote for the National Assembly is eligible to be a member of the Assembly, … (Sec. 47)

Legislature

(1) The National Council of Provinces is composed of a single delegation from each province consisting of ten delegates.
(2) The ten delegates are -
(a) four special delegates consisting of-
(i) the Premier of the province or, if the Premier is not available, any member of the provincial legislature designated by the Premier either generally or for any specific business before the National Council of Provinces; and
(ii) three other special delegates; and
(b) six permanent delegates appointed in terms of section 61(2).
… (Sec. 60)

Legislature

(1) Parties represented in a provincial legislature are entitled to delegates in the province’s delegation in accordance with the formula set out in Part B of Schedule 3.
… (Sec. 61)

Legislature

(1) A person nominated as a permanent delegate must be eligible to be a member of the provincial legislature.
… (Sec. 62)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(4) For the purposes of this section—
(a) the public interest includes the nation’s commitment to land reform, and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources; and
(b) property is not limited to land.
(5) The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.
(6) A person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress.
(7) A person or community dispossessed of property after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to restitution of that property or to equitable redress.
(8) No provision of this section may impede the state from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reform, in order to redress the results of past racial discrimination, provided that any departure from the provisions of this section is in accordance with the provisions of section 36(1).
(9) Parliament must enact the legislation referred to in subsection (6). (Sec. 25)

Protection from Violence

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right -

(c) to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; (d) not to be tortured in any way; and
(e) not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
(2) Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right –
(a) to make decisions concerning reproduction;
(b) to security in and control over their body;
(c) not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent. (Sec. 12)

Protection from Violence

No one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour. (Sec. 13)

Protection from Violence

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, …
(2) The right in subsection (1) does not extend to –
(a) propaganda for war;
(b) incitement of imminent violence; or
(c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. (Sec. 16)

Protection from Violence

(1) Every child has the right—

(d) to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation;
(e) to be protected from exploitative labour practices;

(i) not to be used directly in armed conflict, and to be protected in times of armed conflict.
… (Sec. 28)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) Everyone has the right to have access to -
(a) health care services, including reproductive health care;

(c) social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance.
… (Sec. 27)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) Public administration must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution, including the following principles:

(d) Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.
… (Sec. 195)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) When an organ of state in the national, provincial or local sphere of government, or any other institution identified in national legislation, contracts for goods or services, it must do so in accordance with a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.
(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the organs of state or institutions referred to in that subsection from implementing a procurement policy providing for –
(a) categories of preference in the allocation of contracts; and
(b) the protection or advancement of persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.
(3) National legislation must prescribe a framework within which the policy referred to in subsection (2) must be implemented. (Sec. 217)

Sexual and Reproductive Rights

(2) Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right-
(a) to make decisions concerning reproduction;
(b) to security in and control over their body;
… (Sec. 12)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.
(5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair. (Sec. 9)

Status of the Constitution

… We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; … (Preamble)

Status of the Constitution

(1) The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values:

(c) Supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.
… (Sec. 1)

Status of the Constitution

This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic; law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled. (Sec. 2)

Status of the Constitution

(4) Any international agreement becomes law in the Republic when it is enacted into law by national legislation; but a self-executing provision of an agreement that has been approved by Parliament is law in the Republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.
... (Sec. 231)

Status of International Law

(1) When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum-

(b) must consider international law;
… (Sec. 39)

Status of International Law

The following principles govern national security in the Republic:

(c) National security must be pursued in compliance with the law, including international law.
… (Sec. 198)

Status of International Law

(5) The security services must act, and must teach and require their members to act, in accordance with the Constitution and the law, including customary international law and international agreements binding on the Republic.
… (Sec. 199)

Status of International Law

(2) An international agreement binds the Republic only after it has been approved by resolution in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, unless it is an agreement referred to in subsection (3).
(3) An international agreement of a technical, administrative or executive nature, or an agreement which does not require either ratification or accession, entered into by the national executive, binds the Republic without approval by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, but must be tabled in the Assembly and the Council within a reasonable time.
(4) Any international agreement becomes law in the Republic when it is enacted into law by national legislation; but a self-executing provision of an agreement that has been approved by Parliament is law in the Republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.
(5) The Republic is bound by international agreements which were binding on the Republic when this Constitution took effect. (Sec. 231)

Status of International Law

Customary international law is law in the Republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament. (Sec. 232)

Status of International Law

When interpreting any legislation, every court must prefer any reasonable interpretation of the legislation that is consistent with international law over any alternative interpretation that is inconsistent with international law. (Sec. 233)

Religious Law

(2) Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that-
(a) those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;
(b) they are conducted on an equitable basis; and
(c) attendance at them is free and voluntary.
(3) (a) This section does not prevent legislation recognising-
(i) marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or
(ii) systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.
(b) Recognition in terms of paragraph (a) must be consistent with this section and the other provisions of the Constitution. (Sec. 15)

Customary Law

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.
(2) Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that-
(a) those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;
(b) they are conducted on an equitable basis; and
(c) attendance at them is free and voluntary.
(3) (a) This section does not prevent legislation recognising-
(i) marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or
(ii) systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.
(b) Recognition in terms of paragraph (a) must be consistent with this section and the other provisions of the Constitution. (Sec. 15)

Customary Law

(2) When interpreting any legislation, and when developing the common law or customary law, every court, tribunal or forum must promote the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights.
(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

Customary Law

(1) The institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to customary law, are recognised, subject to the Constitution.
(2) A traditional authority that observes a system of customary law may function subject to any applicable legislation and customs, which includes amendments to, or repeal of, that legislation or those customs.
(3) The courts must apply customary law when that law is applicable, subject to the Constitution and any legislation that specifically deals with customary law. (Sec. 211)

Customary Law

(1) National legislation may provide for a role for traditional leadership as an institution at local level on matters affecting local communities.
(2) To deal with matters relating to traditional leadership, the role of traditional leaders, customary law and the customs of communities observing a system of customary law
(a) national or provincial legislation may provide for the establishment of houses of traditional leaders; and
(b) national legislation may establish a council of traditional leaders. (Sec. 212)

Customary Law

… Indigenous law and customary law, subject to Chapter 12 of the Constitution … (Schedule 4, Functional Areas of Concurrent National and Provincial Legislative Competence, Part A)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter2 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) There is a common South African citizenship.
(2) All citizens are-
(a) equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; and
(b) equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
(3) National legislation must provide for the acquisition, loss and restoration of citizenship. (Sec. 3)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

No citizen may be deprived of citizenship. (Sec. 20)

Composition and Appointment

English

(1) Any appropriately qualified woman or man who is a fit and proper person may be appointed as a judicial officer. Any person to be appointed to the Constitutional Court must also be a South African citizen.
(2) The need for the judiciary to reflect broadly the racial and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when judicial officers are appointed.
… (Sec. 174)

Composition and Appointment

English

(1) The President may appoint a woman or man to serve as an acting Deputy Chief Justice or judge of the Constitutional Court if there is a vacancy in any of those offices, or if the person holding such an office is absent. The appointment must be made on the recommendation of the Cabinet member responsible for the administration of justice acting with the concurrence of the Chief Justice, and an appointment as acting Deputy Chief Justice must be made from the ranks of the judges who had been appointed to the Constitutional Court in terms of section 174(4). … (Sec. 175)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) Members of the National Assembly may apply to the Constitutional Court for an order declaring that all or part of an Act of Parliament is unconstitutional.
… (Sec. 80)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(3) The Constitutional Court-
(a) is the highest court of the Republic; and
(b) may decide -
(i) constitutional matters; and
(ii) any other matter, if the Constitutional Court grants leave to appeal on the grounds that the matter raises an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by that Court; and
(c) makes the final decision whether a matter is within its jurisdiction.
(4) Only the Constitutional Court may -
(a) decide disputes between organs of state in the national or provincial sphere concerning the constitutional status, powers or functions of any of those organs of state;
(b) decide on the constitutionality of any parliamentary or provincial Bill, but may do so only in the circumstances anticipated in section 79 or 121;
(c) decide applications envisaged in section 80 or 122;
(d) decide on the constitutionality of any amendment to the Constitution;
(e) decide that Parliament or the President has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation; or
(f) certify a provincial constitution in terms of section 144.
(5) The Constitutional Court makes the final decision whether an Act of Parliament, a provincial Act or conduct of the President is constitutional, and must confirm any order of invalidity made by the Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court of South Africa, or a court of similar status, before that order has any force.
(6) National legislation or the rules of the Constitutional Court must allow a person, when it is in the interests of justice and with leave of the Constitutional Court—
(a) to bring a matter directly to the Constitutional Court; or
(b) to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court from any other court.
(7) A constitutional matter includes any issue involving the interpretation, protection or enforcement of the Constitution. (Sec. 167)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) The High Court of South Africa may decide-
(a) any constitutional matter except a matter that-
(i) the Constitutional Court has agreed to hear directly in terms of section 167(6)(a); or
(ii) is assigned by an Act of Parliament to another court of a status similar to the High Court of South Africa; and
(b) any other matter not assigned to another court by an Act of Parliament.
… (Sec. 169)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(2) (a) The Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court of South Africa or a court of similar status may make an order concerning the constitutional validity of an Act of Parliament, a provincial Act or any conduct of the President, but an order of constitutional invalidity has no force unless it is confirmed by the Constitutional Court.
(b) A court which makes an order of constitutional invalidity may grant a temporary interdict or other temporary relief to a party, or may adjourn the proceedings, pending a decision of the Constitutional Court on the validity of that Act or conduct.
(c) National legislation must provide for the referral of an order of constitutional invalidity to the Constitutional Court.
(d) Any person or organ of state with a sufficient interest may appeal, or apply, directly to the Constitutional Court to confirm or vary an order of constitutional invalidity by a court in terms of this subsection.
… (Sec. 172)

Education

English

(1) Everyone has the right-
(a) to a basic education, including adult basic education; and
(b) to further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible.
(2) Everyone has the right to receive education in the official language or languages of their choice in public educational institutions where that education is reasonably practicable. In order to ensure the effective access to, and implementation of, this right, the state must consider all reasonable educational alternatives, including single medium institutions, taking into account-
(a) equity;
(b) practicability; and
(c) the need to redress the results of past racially discriminatory laws and practices. (Sec. 29)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

Every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. The practice of a trade, occupation or profession may be regulated by law. (Sec. 22)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

… We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to- …
Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values:
(a) Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.
(b) Non-racialism and non-sexism.
… (Sec. 1)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
… (Sec. 7)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
(2) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.
(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.
(5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair. (Sec. 9)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum—
(a) must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom;
… (Sec. 39)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

(1) The following state institutions strengthen constitutional democracy in the Republic:

(d) The Commission for Gender Equality.
… (Sec. 181)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

(1) The Commission for Gender Equality must promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
(2) The Commission for Gender Equality has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality.
(3) The Commission for Gender Equality has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation. (Sec. 187)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter3 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

(1) In this section “constitutional institution” means –

(c) the Commission on Gender Equality;

(2) A constitutional institution established in terms of the previous Constitution continues to function in terms of the legislation applicable to it, and anyone holding office as a commission member, a member of the board of the Reserve Bank or the Pan South African Language Board, the Public Protector or the Auditor-General when the new Constitution takes effect, continues to hold office in terms of the legislation applicable to that office, subject to -
(a) any amendment or repeal of that legislation; and
(b) consistency with the new Constitution.
… (Schedule 6, Transitional Arrangements, Sec. 20)

Obligations of the State

English

… We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to –
Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

English

The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values:
(a) Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.
… (Sec. 1)

Obligations of the State

English

(1) This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
(2) The state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.
… (Sec. 7)

Obligations of the State

English

(1) The Bill of Rights applies to all law, and binds the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and all organs of state. … (Sec. 8)

Obligations of the State

English

(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

(2) A provision of the Bill of Rights binds a natural or a juristic person if, and to the extent that, it is applicable, taking into account the nature of the right and the nature of any duty imposed by the right.
(3) When applying a provision of the Bill of Rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2), a court-
(a) in order to give effect to a right in the Bill, must apply, or if necessary develop, the common law to the extent that legislation does not give effect to that right; and
(b) may develop rules of the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section 36 (1).
… (Sec. 8)

Judicial Protection

English

(2) A provision of the Bill of Rights binds a natural or a juristic person if, and to the extent that, it is applicable, taking into account the nature of the right and the nature of any duty imposed by the right.
(3) When applying a provision of the Bill of Rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2), a court-
(a) in order to give effect to a right in the Bill, must apply, or if necessary develop, the common law to the extent that legislation does not give effect to that right; and
(b) may develop rules of the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section 36 (1).
… (Sec. 8)

Judicial Protection

English

Anyone listed in this section has the right to approach a competent court, alleging that a right in the Bill of Rights has been infringed or threatened, and the court may grant appropriate relief, including a declaration of rights. The persons who may approach a court are—
(a) anyone acting in their own interest;
(b) anyone acting on behalf of another person who cannot act in their own name;
(c) anyone acting as a member of, or in the interest of, a group or class of persons;
(d) anyone acting in the public interest; and
(e) an association acting in the interest of its members. (Sec. 38)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum –
(a) must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom;
(b) must consider international law; and
(c) may consider foreign law.
(2) When interpreting any legislation, and when developing the common law or customary law, every court, tribunal or forum must promote the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights.
(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) The South African Human Rights Commission must—
(a) promote respect for human rights and a culture of human rights;
(b) promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and
(c) monitor and assess the observance of human rights in the Republic.
(2) The South African Human Rights Commission has the powers, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power—
(a) to investigate and to report on the observance of human rights;
(b) to take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated;
(c) to carry out research; and
(d) to educate.
… (Sec. 184)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter4 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(2) A provision of the Bill of Rights binds a natural or a juristic person if, and to the extent that, it is applicable, taking into account the nature of the right and the nature of any duty imposed by the right.
(3) When applying a provision of the Bill of Rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2), a court-
(a) in order to give effect to a right in the Bill, must apply, or if necessary develop, the common law to the extent that legislation does not give effect to that right; and
(b) may develop rules of the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section 36 (1).
… (Sec. 8)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) The rights in the Bill of Rights may be limited only in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including—
(a) the nature of the right;
(b) the importance of the purpose of the limitation;
(c) the nature and extent of the limitation;
(d) the relation between the limitation and its purpose; and
(e) less restrictive means to achieve the purpose.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (1) or in any other provision of the Constitution, no law may limit any right entrenched in the Bill of Rights. (Sec. 36)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(4) Any legislation enacted in consequence of a declaration of a state of emergency may derogate from the Bill of Rights only to the extent that—
(a) the derogation is strictly required by the emergency; and
(b) the legislation—
(i) is consistent with the Republic’s obligations under international law applicable to states of emergency;
(ii) conforms to subsection (5); and
(iii) is published in the national Government Gazette as soon as reasonably possible after being enacted.
(5) No Act of Parliament that authorises a declaration of a state of emergency, and no legislation enacted or other action taken in consequence of a declaration, may permit or authorise—
(a) indemnifying the state, or any person, in respect of any unlawful act;
(b) any derogation from this section; or
(c) any derogation from a section mentioned in column 1 of the Table of Non-Derogable Rights,5 to the extent indicated opposite that section in column 3 of the Table.6
… (Sec. 37)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(2) Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that-
(a) those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;
(b) they are conducted on an equitable basis; and
(c) attendance at them is free and voluntary.
(3) (a) This section does not prevent legislation recognising-
(i) marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or
(ii) systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.
(b) Recognition in terms of paragraph (a) must be consistent with this section and the other provisions of the Constitution. (Sec. 15)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Every child has the right—

(b) to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment; … (Sec. 28)

Minorities

English

(1) Persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community—
(a) to enjoy their culture, practise their religion and use their language; and
(b) to form, join and maintain cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society.
(2) The rights in subsection (1) may not be exercised in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights. (Sec. 31)

Minorities

English

(1) The primary objects of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities are—
(a) to promote respect for the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
(b) to promote and develop peace, friendship, humanity, tolerance and national unity among cultural, religious and linguistic communities, on the basis of equality, non-discrimination and free association; and
(c) to recommend the establishment or recognition, in accordance with national legislation, of a cultural or other council or councils for a community or communities in South Africa.
(2) The Commission has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to achieve its primary objects, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities.
… (Sec. 185)

Minorities

English

(1) The number of members of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and their appointment and terms of office must be prescribed by national legislation.
(2) The composition of the Commission must—
(a) be broadly representative of the main cultural, religious and linguistic communities in South Africa; and
(b) broadly reflect the gender composition of South Africa. (Sec. 186)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(2) National legislation that applies uniformly with regard to the country as a whole prevails over provincial legislation if any of the following conditions is met:

(c) The national legislation is necessary for-

(v) the promotion of equal opportunity or equal access to government services;
... (Sec. 146)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) Any appropriately qualified woman or man who is a fit and proper person may be appointed as a judicial officer. Any person to be appointed to the Constitutional Court must also be a South African citizen.
(2) The need for the judiciary to reflect broadly the racial and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when judicial officers are appointed.
… (Sec. 174)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) The number of members of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and their appointment and terms of office must be prescribed by national legislation.
(2) The composition of the Commission must –
(a) be broadly representative of the main cultural, religious and linguistic communities in South Africa; and
(b) broadly reflect the gender composition of South Africa. (Sec. 186)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) The Public Protector and the members of any Commission established by this Chapter must be women or men who -
(a) are South African citizens;
(b) are fit and proper persons to hold the particular office; and
(c) comply with any other requirements prescribed by national legislation.
(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter7 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
(3) The Auditor-General must be a woman or a man who is a South African citizen and a fit and proper person to hold that office. Specialised knowledge of, or experience in, auditing, state finances and public administration must be given due regard in appointing the Auditor-General.
(4) The President, on the recommendation of the National Assembly, must appoint the Public Protector, the Auditor-General and the members of -
(a) the South African Human Rights Commission;
(b) the Commission for Gender Equality; and
(c) the Electoral Commission.
… (Sec. 193)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) There is a single Public Service Commission for the Republic.

(10) A commissioner is appointed for a term of five years, which is renewable for one additional term only, and must be a woman or a man who is –
(a) a South African citizen; and
(b) a fit and proper person with knowledge of, or experience in, administration, management or the provision of public services.
… (Sec. 196)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) The President as head of the national executive must appoint a woman or a man as the National Commissioner of the police service, to control and manage the police service.

(3) The National Commissioner, with the concurrence of the provincial executive, must appoint a woman or a man as the provincial commissioner for that province, but if the National Commissioner and the provincial executive are unable to agree on the appointment, the Cabinet member responsible for policing must mediate between the parties.
… (Sec. 207)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(2) The President as head of the national executive must appoint a woman or a man as head of each intelligence service established in terms of subsection (1), and must either assume political responsibility for the control and direction of any of those services, or designate a member of the Cabinet to assume that responsibility. (Sec. 209)

Political Rights and Association

English

Everyone has the right to freedom of association. (Sec. 18)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right -
(a) to form a political party;
(b) to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and
(c) to campaign for a political party or cause.
(2) Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution.
(3) Every adult citizen has the right -
(a) to vote in elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution, and to do so in secret; and
(b) to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office. (Sec. 19)

Political Parties

English

To enhance multi-party democracy, national legislation must provide for the funding of political parties participating in national and provincial legislatures on an equitable and proportional basis. (Sec. 236)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) The following state institutions strengthen constitutional democracy in the Republic:

(f) The Electoral Commission.
… (Sec. 181)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) The Electoral Commission must -
(a) manage elections of national, provincial and municipal legislative bodies in accordance with national legislation;
(b) ensure that those elections are free and fair; and
(c) declare the results of those elections within a period that must be prescribed by national legislation and that is as short as reasonably possible.
(2) The Electoral Commission has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation. (Sec. 190)

Electoral Bodies

English

(2) The need for a Commission established by this Chapter8 to reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when members are appointed.
… (Sec. 193)

Head of State

English

The President –
(a) is the Head of State and head of the national executive;
(b) must uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic; and
(c) promotes the unity of the nation and that which will advance the Republic. (Sec. 83)

Head of State

English

(1) At its first sitting after its election, and whenever necessary to fill a vacancy, the National Assembly must elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.
… (Sec. 86)

Vice-President

English

(1) When the President is absent from the Republic or otherwise unable to fulfil the duties of President, or during a vacancy in the office of President, an office-bearer in the order below acts as President:
(a) The Deputy President.
… (Sec. 90)

Vice-President

English

(2) The President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them.
(3) The President –
(a) must select the Deputy President from among the members of the National Assembly;
… (Sec. 91)

Government

English

(1) The executive authority of the Republic is vested in the President.
(2) The President exercises the executive authority, together with the other members of the Cabinet, … (Sec. 85)

Government

English

(1) The Cabinet consists of the President, as head of the Cabinet, a Deputy President and Ministers.
(2) The President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them.
(3) The President –
(a) must select the Deputy President from among the members of the National Assembly;
(b) may select any number of Ministers from among the members of the Assembly; and
(c) may select no more than two Ministers from outside the Assembly.
(4) The President must appoint a member of the Cabinet to be the leader of government business in the National Assembly.
… (Sec. 91)

Legislature

English

(1) Parliament consists of –
(a) the National Assembly; and
(b) the National Council of Provinces.
(2) The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces participate in the legislative process in the manner set out in the Constitution.
… (Sec. 42)

Legislature

English

(1) The National Assembly consists of no fewer than 350 and no more than 400 women and men elected as members in terms of an electoral system that–
(a) is prescribed by national legislation;
(b) is based on the national common voters roll;
(c) provides for a minimum voting age of 18 years; and
(d) results, in general, in proportional representation. (Sec. 46)

Legislature

English

(1) Every citizen who is qualified to vote for the National Assembly is eligible to be a member of the Assembly, … (Sec. 47)

Legislature

English

(1) The National Council of Provinces is composed of a single delegation from each province consisting of ten delegates.
(2) The ten delegates are -
(a) four special delegates consisting of-
(i) the Premier of the province or, if the Premier is not available, any member of the provincial legislature designated by the Premier either generally or for any specific business before the National Council of Provinces; and
(ii) three other special delegates; and
(b) six permanent delegates appointed in terms of section 61(2).
… (Sec. 60)

Legislature

English

(1) Parties represented in a provincial legislature are entitled to delegates in the province’s delegation in accordance with the formula set out in Part B of Schedule 3.
… (Sec. 61)

Legislature

English

(1) A person nominated as a permanent delegate must be eligible to be a member of the provincial legislature.
… (Sec. 62)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(4) For the purposes of this section—
(a) the public interest includes the nation’s commitment to land reform, and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources; and
(b) property is not limited to land.
(5) The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.
(6) A person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress.
(7) A person or community dispossessed of property after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to restitution of that property or to equitable redress.
(8) No provision of this section may impede the state from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reform, in order to redress the results of past racial discrimination, provided that any departure from the provisions of this section is in accordance with the provisions of section 36(1).
(9) Parliament must enact the legislation referred to in subsection (6). (Sec. 25)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right -

(c) to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; (d) not to be tortured in any way; and
(e) not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
(2) Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right –
(a) to make decisions concerning reproduction;
(b) to security in and control over their body;
(c) not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent. (Sec. 12)

Protection from Violence

English

No one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour. (Sec. 13)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, …
(2) The right in subsection (1) does not extend to –
(a) propaganda for war;
(b) incitement of imminent violence; or
(c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. (Sec. 16)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) Every child has the right—

(d) to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation;
(e) to be protected from exploitative labour practices;

(i) not to be used directly in armed conflict, and to be protected in times of armed conflict.
… (Sec. 28)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) Everyone has the right to have access to -
(a) health care services, including reproductive health care;

(c) social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance.
… (Sec. 27)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) Public administration must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution, including the following principles:

(d) Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.
… (Sec. 195)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) When an organ of state in the national, provincial or local sphere of government, or any other institution identified in national legislation, contracts for goods or services, it must do so in accordance with a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.
(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the organs of state or institutions referred to in that subsection from implementing a procurement policy providing for –
(a) categories of preference in the allocation of contracts; and
(b) the protection or advancement of persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.
(3) National legislation must prescribe a framework within which the policy referred to in subsection (2) must be implemented. (Sec. 217)

Sexual and Reproductive Rights

English

(2) Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right-
(a) to make decisions concerning reproduction;
(b) to security in and control over their body;
… (Sec. 12)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

English

(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.
(5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair. (Sec. 9)

Status of the Constitution

English

… We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; … (Preamble)

Status of the Constitution

English

(1) The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values:

(c) Supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.
… (Sec. 1)

Status of the Constitution

English

This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic; law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled. (Sec. 2)

Status of the Constitution

English

(4) Any international agreement becomes law in the Republic when it is enacted into law by national legislation; but a self-executing provision of an agreement that has been approved by Parliament is law in the Republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.
... (Sec. 231)

Status of International Law

English

(1) When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum-

(b) must consider international law;
… (Sec. 39)

Status of International Law

English

The following principles govern national security in the Republic:

(c) National security must be pursued in compliance with the law, including international law.
… (Sec. 198)

Status of International Law

English

(5) The security services must act, and must teach and require their members to act, in accordance with the Constitution and the law, including customary international law and international agreements binding on the Republic.
… (Sec. 199)

Status of International Law

English

(2) An international agreement binds the Republic only after it has been approved by resolution in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, unless it is an agreement referred to in subsection (3).
(3) An international agreement of a technical, administrative or executive nature, or an agreement which does not require either ratification or accession, entered into by the national executive, binds the Republic without approval by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, but must be tabled in the Assembly and the Council within a reasonable time.
(4) Any international agreement becomes law in the Republic when it is enacted into law by national legislation; but a self-executing provision of an agreement that has been approved by Parliament is law in the Republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.
(5) The Republic is bound by international agreements which were binding on the Republic when this Constitution took effect. (Sec. 231)

Status of International Law

English

Customary international law is law in the Republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament. (Sec. 232)

Status of International Law

English

When interpreting any legislation, every court must prefer any reasonable interpretation of the legislation that is consistent with international law over any alternative interpretation that is inconsistent with international law. (Sec. 233)

Religious Law

English

(2) Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that-
(a) those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;
(b) they are conducted on an equitable basis; and
(c) attendance at them is free and voluntary.
(3) (a) This section does not prevent legislation recognising-
(i) marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or
(ii) systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.
(b) Recognition in terms of paragraph (a) must be consistent with this section and the other provisions of the Constitution. (Sec. 15)

Customary Law

English

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.
(2) Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that-
(a) those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;
(b) they are conducted on an equitable basis; and
(c) attendance at them is free and voluntary.
(3) (a) This section does not prevent legislation recognising-
(i) marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or
(ii) systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.
(b) Recognition in terms of paragraph (a) must be consistent with this section and the other provisions of the Constitution. (Sec. 15)

Customary Law

English

(2) When interpreting any legislation, and when developing the common law or customary law, every court, tribunal or forum must promote the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights.
(3) The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill. (Sec. 39)

Customary Law

English

(1) The institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to customary law, are recognised, subject to the Constitution.
(2) A traditional authority that observes a system of customary law may function subject to any applicable legislation and customs, which includes amendments to, or repeal of, that legislation or those customs.
(3) The courts must apply customary law when that law is applicable, subject to the Constitution and any legislation that specifically deals with customary law. (Sec. 211)

Customary Law

English

(1) National legislation may provide for a role for traditional leadership as an institution at local level on matters affecting local communities.
(2) To deal with matters relating to traditional leadership, the role of traditional leaders, customary law and the customs of communities observing a system of customary law
(a) national or provincial legislation may provide for the establishment of houses of traditional leaders; and
(b) national legislation may establish a council of traditional leaders. (Sec. 212)

Customary Law

English

… Indigenous law and customary law, subject to Chapter 12 of the Constitution … (Schedule 4, Functional Areas of Concurrent National and Provincial Legislative Competence, Part A)

1

Links to all sites last visited 2 March 2016

2

Chapter 9 on State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. According to Art. 181, those institutions are: “(a) The Public Protector. (b) The South African Human Rights Commission. (c) The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. (d) The Commission for Gender Equality. (e) The Auditor-General. (f) The Electoral Commission.”

3

Chapter 9 on State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. According to Art. 181, those institutions are: “(a) The Public Protector. (b) The South African Human Rights Commission. (c) The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. (d) The Commission for Gender Equality. (e) The Auditor-General. (f) The Electoral Commission.”

4

Chapter 9 on State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. According to Art. 181, those institutions are: “(a) The Public Protector. (b) The South African Human Rights Commission. (c) The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. (d) The Commission for Gender Equality. (e) The Auditor-General. (f) The Electoral Commission.”

5,6

5 - The Table of Non-Derogable Rights includes Equality (Sec. 9), Human Dignity (Sec. 10), Life (Sec. 11), Freedom and Security of the person (Sec. 12), Slavery, Servitude and forced labour (Sec. 13), Children (Sec. 28) and Arrested, detained and accused persons (Sec. 35). 
6 - Refer to Table of Non-Derogable Rights.

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Chapter 9 on State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. According to Art. 181, those institutions are: “(a) The Public Protector. (b) The South African Human Rights Commission. (c) The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. (d) The Commission for Gender Equality. (e) The Auditor-General. (f) The Electoral Commission.”

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Chapter 9 on State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. According to Art. 181, those institutions are: “(a) The Public Protector. (b) The South African Human Rights Commission. (c) The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. (d) The Commission for Gender Equality. (e) The Auditor-General. (f) The Electoral Commission.”