National and Provincial Elections – Quick facts

National Assembly
Reading Time: < 1 minute

South Africa’s national and provincial elections take place every five years.

Voters vote for a political party, not individuals. The political party then gets a share of seats in Parliament in direct proportion to the number of votes it got in the election. Each party then decides on members to fill the seats it has won. This is called a proportional representation (PR) voting system.

National government makes and carries out laws and policies for the whole country. It is made up of:

  • Parliament led by the Speaker
  • National Government led by the President and Ministers

Provincial government makes and carries out laws and policies that affect the province only. It is made up of:

  • Legislature (the laws of the country) led by the Speaker
  • Provincial Government led by the Premier and Members of the Executive Council (MECs)

Democratic national and provincial elections have taken place every five years starting in 1994.