Political Conditions in South Africa

Overview by Globlatrade.net:
Type of State
South Africa is a federal republic state based on parliamentary democracy.
Executive Power
President is both the chief of state and head of government. President is elected by the parliament (lower house), who usually happens to be the leader of the largest party, to serve a five-year term. President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, declares war or peace and appoints the Cabinet.
Legislative Power
South Africa has a bicameral legislature. The parliament's members are elected by popular vote under a system of proportional representation to serve five-year terms and National Council of Provinces (the upper house) having 90 seats, with 10 members elected by each of the 9 provincial legislatures for five-year terms.

The executive branch of government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. President can dissolve Parliament if a majority of the members of the National Assembly seek its dissolution and at least three years have lapsed since the last election.

Main Political Parties
South Africa is a democratic but one-party dominant state with the ANC (African National Congress - a social-democratic political party formed by Nelson Mandela to fight apartheid) in power since 1994. Opposition parties are allowed, but are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power.
Other important parties are:

•  African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) - claims to represent "Bible believing Christians"

•  Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) – advocates prevention of one-part state and social justice for all

•  Democratic Alliance (DA) – a liberal political party which officially opposes the ANC

•  South African Communist Party (SACP) – advocates communist ideology

•  United Democratic Movement (UDM) – advocates individual self-reliance, liberty and diversity

Current Political Leaders
President: Jacob ZUMA (since May 2009) – ANC
Executive Deputy President: Kgalema MOTLANTHE (since May 2009) - ANC
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2013
National Assembly: 2014
National Council of Provinces: 2014

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

World Rank:
3 places up compared to 2008

Source: Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2009, Reporters Without Borders


Indicator of Political Freedom

Political Freedom:
Civil Liberties:

Map of freedom 2010
Source: Freedom House

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