Parliament: Overview | Western Cape Government

Parliament: Overview

National parliament South Africa New Logo 2007
2007 Emblem for South Africa's National Parliament

Parliament is the legislative branch of the South African government. It is responsible for making laws for the country in accordance with the Constitution. It consists of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).


Parliamentary sittings are open to the public.

National Assembly (NA)

The National Assembly consists of between 350 and 400 members who are elected by the people to represent them. There is a system of proportional representation which means that the number of members of parliament from each party is proportional to the number of votes that the party received in the national election. The National Assembly is elected for a term of five years and is presided over by a Speaker, assisted by a Deputy Speaker.

The National Assembly is responsible for:

  • electing the president
  • discussing and debating issues in a public forum
  • passing legislation
  • overseeing the actions of the administration (cabinet and the departments).


National Council of Provinces (NCOP)

The NCOP consists of 54 permanent members and 36 special delegates (10 representatives from each province). It represents provincial interests in the national sphere of government.


The content on this page was last updated on 21 May 2014