Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993

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Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993
drafted by the Multiparty Negotiating Forum and enacted by the Parliament of South Africa

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993, also known as the "Interim Constitution", was the constitution of South Africa from 27 April 1994 to 4 February 1997. It enumerated a bill of rights for the people of South Africa. It described the division of South Africa into nine provinces, and established the structure of national, provincial and local spheres of government and the principles that governed the interaction between the spheres. It established a single independent national judiciary along with various other independent organisations to support democracy and the constitution.

The Interim Constitution was drafted in 1993 by the "Multiparty Negotiating Forum" and came into effect on the day of the elections of 1994. It required the two houses of Parliament to sit jointly as the "Constitutional Assembly" to draft the text of a new constitutional text. This new constitutional text came into force on 4 February 1997 as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, at which time the Interim Constitution was repealed.

From its enactment to its repeal, the Interim Constitution was amended ten times. Most of these amendments were technical, but some were of great political significance, such as the first and second amendments of 1994, which implemented the constitutional consequences of the compromise which, at the last minute, convinced the Inkatha Freedom Party to participate in the 1994 election. Other significant amendments included the renaming of five of the nine provinces.

This is the text as originally enacted and does not incorporate any amendments. A series of other versions incorporating amendments are also available on Wikisource; the version as amended up to 24 April 1996 is the text of the act as it was immediately before it was repealed.


To introduce a new Constitution for the Republic of South Africa and to provide for matters incidental thereto.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Constituent and Formal Provisions 1–4
Chapter 2 Citizenship and Franchise 5–6
Chapter 3 Fundamental Rights 7–35
Chapter 4 Parliament 36–39
The National Assembly 40–47
The Senate 48–54
The National Assembly and the Senate 55–67
Chapter 5 The Adoption of the new Constitution 68–74
Chapter 6 The National Executive 75–95
Chapter 7 The Judicial Authority and the Administration of Justice 96–109
Chapter 8 The Public Protector, Human Rights Commission, Commission on Gender Equality and Restitution of Land Rights
The Public Protector 110–114
Human Rights Commission 115–118
Commission on Gender Equality 119–120
Restitution of Land Rights 121–123
Chapter 9 Provincial Government 124
Provincial Legislative Authority 125–143
Provincial Executive Authority 144–154
Provincial Finance and Fiscal Affairs 155–159
Provincial Constitutions 160–162
Commission on Provincial Government 163–173
Chapter 10 Local Government 174–180
Chapter 11 Traditional Authorities 181–184
Chapter 12 Finance
General Financial Affairs 185–190
Auditor-General 191–194
South African Reserve Bank 195–197
Financial and Fiscal Commission 198–206
Commission on Remuneration of Representatives 207–208
Chapter 13 Public Service Commission and Public Service
Public Service Commission 209–211
The Public Service 212
Provincial Service Commissions 213
Chapter 14 Police and Defence
South African Police Service 214–223
National Defence Force 224–228
Chapter 15 General and Transitional Provisions 229–251
Schedule 1 Part 1: Definitions of Provinces
Part 2: Contentious Areas
Schedule 2 System for Election of National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures
Schedule 3 Oaths and Affirmations of Office
Schedule 4 Constitutional Principles
Schedule 5 Procedure for Election of President
Schedule 6 Legislative Competences of Provinces
Schedule 7 Repeal of Laws


In humble submission to Almighty God,
We, the people of South Africa declare that—

Whereas there is a need to create a new order in which all South Africans will be entitled to a common South African citizenship in a sovereign and democratic constitutional state in which there is equality between men and women and people of all races so that all citizens shall be able to enjoy and exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms;

And whereas in order to secure the achievement of this goal, elected representatives of all the people of South Africa should be mandated to adopt a new Constitution in accordance with a solemn pact recorded as Constitutional Principles;

And whereas it is necessary for such purposes that provision should be made for the promotion of national unity and the restructuring and continued governance of South Africa while an elected Constitutional Assembly draws up a final Constitution;

(Afrikaans text signed by the State President.)
(Assented to 25 January 1994.)

Now therefore the following provisions are adopted as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa:

This work is in the public domain because it was created and first published in South Africa and it is an official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or an official translation of such a text.

According to the Copyright Act, 1978, § 12 (8) (a), "No copyright shall subsist in official texts of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or in official translations of such texts."

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