Mobile users can only read ConText documents. Annotate this document on your computer or tablet.
Results

Table of Contents

  1. CHAPTER 1. FOUNDING PROVISIONS
  2. CHAPTER 2. BILL OF RIGHTS
  3. CHAPTER 3. CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT
  4. CHAPTER 4. PARLIAMENT
  5. PART A. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  6. PART B. NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
  7. PART C. NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
  8. CHAPTER 5. THE PRESIDENT AND NATIONAL EXECUTIVE
  9. CHAPTER 6. PROVINCES
  10. PART A. PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURES
  11. PART B. PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVES
  12. PART C. PROVINCIAL CONSTITUTIONS
  13. PART D. CONFLICTING LAWS
  14. CHAPTER 7. LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  15. CHAPTER 8. COURTS AND ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
  16. CHAPTER 9. STATE INSTITUTIONS SUPPORTING CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY
  17. PART A. PUBLIC PROTECTOR
  18. PART B. SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
  19. PART C. COMMISSION FOR THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS AND LINGUISTIC COMMUNITIES
  20. PART D. COMMISSION FOR GENDER EQUALITY
  21. PART E. AUDITOR-GENERAL
  22. PART F. ELECTORAL COMMISSION
  23. PART G. INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY TO REGULATE BROADCASTING
  24. PART H. GENERAL PROVISIONS
  25. CHAPTER 10. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
  26. CHAPTER 11. SECURITY SERVICES
  27. PART A. DEFENCE
  28. PART B. POLICE
  29. PART C. INTELLIGENCE
  30. CHAPTER 12. TRADITIONAL LEADERS
  31. CHAPTER 13. FINANCE
  32. PART A. GENERAL FINANCIAL MATTERS
  33. PART B. FINANCIAL AND FISCAL COMMISSION
  34. PART C. CENTRAL BANK
  35. PART D. PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL FINANCIAL MATTERS
  36. CHAPTER 14. GENERAL PROVISIONS
  37. PART A. INTERNATIONAL LAW
  38. PART B. OTHER MATTERS
  39. Schedule 1. NATIONAL FLAG
  40. Schedule 1A. GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS OF PROVINCES
  41. Schedule 2. OATHS AND SOLEMN AFFIRMATIONS
  42. Schedule 3. ELECTION PROCEDURES
  43. PART A. ELECTION PROCEDURES FOR CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICE-BEARERS
  44. PART B. FORMULA TO DETERMINE PARTY PARTICIPATION IN PROVINCIAL DELEGATIONS TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
  45. Schedule 4. FUNCTIONAL AREAS OF CONCURRENT NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL LEGISLATIVE COMPETENCE
  46. PART A
  47. PART B
  48. Schedule 5. FUNCTIONAL AREAS OF EXCLUSIVE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATIVE COMPETENCE
  49. PART A
  50. PART B
  51. Schedule 6. TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
  52. ANNEXURE A. AMENDMENTS TO SCHEDULE 2 TO THE PREVIOUS CONSTITUTION
  53. ANNEXURE B. GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY: NATIONAL SPHERE
  54. ANNEXURE C. GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY: PROVINCIAL SPHERE
  55. ANNEXURE D. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND SECURITY SERVICES: AMENDMENTS TO SECTIONS OF THE PREVIOUS CONSTITUTION
  56. Schedule 6A
  57. Schedule 6B
  58. Schedule 7. LAWS REPEALED

Constitution of South Africa (1996, rev. 2012)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4We, the people of South Africa,

5Recognise the injustices of our past;

6Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

7Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and

8Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

9We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to

10Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;

11Lay 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;

12Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and

13Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

14May God protect our people.

15Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.

16God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa.

17Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.

18CHAPTER 1. FOUNDING PROVISIONS

191. REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

20The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values-

21a.Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.

22b.Non-racialism and non-sexism.

23c.Supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.

24d.Universal adult suffrage, a national common voters roll, regular elections and a multiparty system of democratic government, to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness.

252. SUPREMACY OF CONSTITUTION

26This 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.

273. CITIZENSHIP

281. There is a common South African citizenship.

292. All citizens are-

30a.equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; and

31b.equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.

323. National legislation must provide for the acquisition, loss and restoration of citizenship.

334. NATIONAL ANTHEM

34The national anthem of the Republic is determined by the President by proclamation.

355. NATIONAL FLAG

36The national flag of the Republic is black, gold, green, white, red and blue, as described and sketched in Schedule 1.

376. LANGUAGES

381. The official languages of the Republic are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

392. Recognising the historically diminished use and status of the indigenous languages of our people, the state must take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages.

403.

41a.The national government and provincial governments may use any particular official languages for the purposes of government, taking into account usage, practicality, expense, regional circumstances and the balance of the needs and preferences of the population as a whole or in the province concerned; but the national government and each provincial government must use at least two official languages.

42b.Municipalities must take into account the language usage and preferences of their residents.

434. The national government and provincial governments, by legislative and other measures, must regulate and monitor their use of official languages. Without detracting from the provisions of subsection (2), all official languages must enjoy parity of esteem and must be treated equitably.

445. A Pan South African Language Board established by national legislation must-

45a.promote, and create conditions for, the development and use of-

46i.all official languages;

47ii.the Khoi, Nama and San languages; and

48iii.sign language; and

49b.promote and ensure respect for-

50i.all languages commonly used by communities in South Africa, including German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu; and

51ii.Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit and other languages used for religious purposes in South Africa.

52CHAPTER 2. BILL OF RIGHTS

537. RIGHTS

541. 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.

552. The state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.

563. The rights in the Bill of Rights are subject to the limitations contained or referred to in section 36, or elsewhere in the Bill.

578. APPLICATION

581. The Bill of Rights applies to all law, and binds the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and all organs of state.

592. 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.

603. When applying a provision of the Bill of Rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2), a court-

61a.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

62b.may develop rules of the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section 36 (1).

634. A juristic person is entitled to the rights in the Bill of Rights to the extent required by the nature of the rights and the nature of that juristic person.

649. EQUALITY

651. Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

662. 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.

673. 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.

684. 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.

695. Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair.

7010. HUMAN DIGNITY

71Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.

7211. LIFE

73Everyone has the right to life.

7412. FREEDOM AND SECURITY OF THE PERSON

751. Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right-

76a.not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause;

77b.not to be detained without trial;

78c.to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources;

79d.not to be tortured in any way; and

80e.not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.

812. Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right-

82a.to make decisions concerning reproduction;

83b.to security in and control over their body; and

84c.not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.

8513. SLAVERY, SERVITUDE AND FORCED LABOUR

86No one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour.

8714. PRIVACY

88Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have-

89a.their person or home searched;

90b.their property searched;

91c.their possessions seized; or

92d.the privacy of their communications infringed.

9315. FREEDOM OF RELIGION, BELIEF AND OPINION

941. Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.

952. Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that-

96a.those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;

97b.they are conducted on an equitable basis; and

98c.attendance at them is free and voluntary.

993.

100a.This section does not prevent legislation recognising-

101i.marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or

102ii.systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.

103b.Recognition in terms of paragraph (a) must be consistent with this section and the other provisions of the Constitution.

10416. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

1051. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes-

106a.freedom of the press and other media;

107b.freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;

108c.freedom of artistic creativity; and

109d.academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.

1102. The right in subsection (1) does not extend to-

111a.propaganda for war;

112b.incitement of imminent violence; or

113c.advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

11417. ASSEMBLY, DEMONSTRATION PICKET AND PETITION

115Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.

11618. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION

117Everyone has the right to freedom of association.

11819. POLITICAL RIGHTS

1191. Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right-

120a.to form a political party;

121b.to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and

122c.to campaign for a political party or cause.

1232. Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution.

1243. Every adult citizen has the right-

125a.to vote in elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution, and to do so in secret; and

126b.to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office.

12720. CITIZENSHIP

128No citizen may be deprived of citizenship.

12921. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND RESIDENCE

1301. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.

1312. Everyone has the right to leave the Republic.

1323. Every citizen has the right to enter, to remain in and to reside anywhere in, the Republic.

1334. Every citizen has the right to a passport.

13422. FREEDOM OF TRADE, OCCUPATION AND PROFESSION

135Every 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.

13623. LABOUR RELATIONS

1371. Everyone has the right to fair labour practices.

1382. Every worker has the right-

139a.to form and join a trade union;

140b.to participate in the activities and programmes of a trade union; and

141c.to strike.

1423. Every employer has the right-

143a.to form and join an employers’ organisation; and

144b.to participate in the activities and programmes of an employers’ organisation.

1454. Every trade union and every employers’ organisation has the right-

146a.to determine its own administration, programmes and activities;

147b.to organise; and

148c.to form and join a federation.

1495. Every trade union, employers’ organisation and employer has the right to engage in collective bargaining. National legislation may be enacted to regulate collective bargaining. To the extent that the legislation may limit a right in this Chapter, the limitation must comply with section 36 (1).

1506. National legislation may recognise union security arrangements contained in collective agreements. To the extent that the legislation may limit a right in this Chapter the limitation must comply with section 36 (1).

15124. ENVIRONMENT

152Everyone has the right-

153a.to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and

154b.to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that-

155i.prevent pollution and ecological degradation;

156ii.promote conservation; and

157iii.secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

15825. PROPERTY

1591. No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.

1602. Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application-

161a.for a public purpose or in the public interest; and

162b.subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.

1633. The amount of the compensation and the time and manner of payment must be just and equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected, having regard to all relevant circumstances, including-

164a.the current use of the property;

165b.the history of the acquisition and use of the property;

166c.the market value of the property;

167d.the extent of direct state investment and subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the property; and

168e.the purpose of the expropriation.

1694. For the purposes of this section-

170a.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

171b.property is not limited to land.

1725. 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.

1736. 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.

1747. 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.

1758. 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).

1769. Parliament must enact the legislation referred to in subsection (6).

17726. HOUSING

1781. Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing.

1792. The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.

1803. No one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.

18127. HEALTH CARE, FOOD, WATER AND SOCIAL SECURITY

1821. Everyone has the right to have access to-

183a.health care services, including reproductive health care;

184b.sufficient food and water; and

185c.social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependents, appropriate social assistance.

1862. The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.

1873. No one may be refused emergency medical treatment.

18828. CHILDREN

1891. Every child has the right-

190a.to a name and a nationality from birth;

191b.to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment;

192c.to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services;

193d.to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation;

194e.to be protected from exploitative labour practices;

195f.not to be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that-

196i.are inappropriate for a person of that child’s age; or

197ii.place at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development;

198g.not to be detained except as a measure of last resort, in which case, in addition to the rights a child enjoys under sections 12 and 35, the child may be detained only for the shortest appropriate period of time, and has the right to be-

199i.kept separately from detained persons over the age of 18 years; and

200ii.treated in a manner, and kept in conditions, that take account of the child’s age;

Jump to Passage Number
Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts

J Go to Next passage
K Go to Previous passage
P Jump to a passage
? Display keyboard shortcuts
Q Display Table of Contents
ESC Close Annotation / Discussion Sidebar

Add an annotation

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
  • Image must be under 2MB and have extension .jpg, .jpeg, .png, or .gif. Remove image
  • Theoretical/Philosophical
  • Historical Commentary
  • Constitutional Interpretation
  • Current Events
  • International Perspectives
  • Other
  • separation of powers
  • rules
  • Rufus King
  • slave
  • slave labor
  • slavery
  • slave trade
  • Revolution
  • republicanism
  • presidency
  • Oliver Ellsworth
  • record
  • records
  • republican
  • representation
  • slaves
  • states
  • William Jackson
  • Western Territory
  • Virginia Plan
  • taxes
  • taxation
  • three-fifths clause
  • twenty-year compromise
  • vice president
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • North Carolina
  • new states
  • delegates
  • Delaware
  • contract clause
  • Dred Scott
  • due process
  • Elbridge Gerry
  • economics
  • Congress
  • confederation
  • Antifederalist
  • anti-slavery
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Bill of Rights
  • confederacy
  • compromise
  • electoral college
  • failures
  • Luther Martin
  • legislature
  • judicial branch
  • Magna Carta
  • morality
  • New Jersey Plan
  • navigation acts
  • journal
  • John Dickinson
  • Federalist
  • federalism
  • General Pinckney
  • George Washington
  • James Madison
  • international trade
  • 3/5 clause
Add a Reference