architecture of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature buildings in Galeshewe,
Kimberley, the home of the province's government. (Image: Media Club South
Each of South Africa's nine provinces has its own legislature, with 30 to 80
members elected according to proportional representation. The legislature in turn
elects one of its members as premier, head of the provincial government.
The premier appoints an Executive Council (akin to the national Cabinet), consisting
of members of the legislature, to administer the various departments of the
provincial administration. These heads of department are known as members of the
Executive Council, or MECs.
The legislature makes provincial laws, and may adopt a Constitution for the
province if two-thirds of its members agree. A provincial
Constitution must be in
line with the principles of the national Constitution.
Provinces are allowed legislative and executive powers - alongside the powers of
the national government - over a number of issues. These include gambling,
education (excluding university education), the environment, healthcare, police
services, vehicle licensing and welfare.
The provinces can take responsibility for administration of these issues if they have
Provinces also have exclusive powers over a number of areas, including abattoirs,
ambulance services, liquor licences, local museums, culture and recreation, and
provincial roads and traffic.
Compiled by Mary Alexander and SouthAfrica.info reporter
Updated: 6 November 2015
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