Section 83-92 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Section 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91 and 92 of the Constitution of South Africa 1996 (as amended), among others, are under Chapter 5 of the Constitution. Chapter 5 is titled ‘The President and National Executive‘.
Section 83 Constitution of South Africa 1996
a. is the Head of State and head of the national executive;
b. must uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic; and
c. promotes the unity of the nation and that which will advance the Republic.
Section 84 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Powers and functions of President
1. The President has the powers entrusted by the Constitution and legislation, including those necessary to perform the functions of Head of State and head of the national executive.
2. The President is responsible for
a. assenting to and signing Bills;
b. referring a Bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration of the Bill’s constitutionality;
c. referring a Bill to the Constitutional Court for a decision on the Bill’s constitutionality;
d. summoning the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces or Parliament to an extraordinary sitting to conduct special business;
e. making any appointments that the Constitution or legislation requires the President to make, other than as head of the national executive;
f. appointing commissions of inquiry;
g. calling a national referendum in terms of an Act of Parliament;
h. receiving and recognising foreign diplomatic and consular representatives;
i. appointing ambassadors, plenipotentiaries, and diplomatic and consular representatives;
j. pardoning or reprieving offenders and remitting any fines, penalties or forfeitures; and
k. conferring honours.
[General Note: Honourable tributes instituted in Government Gazette 24155 of 6 December, 2002, Government Gazette 25213 of 25 July, 2003 and Government Gazette 25799 of 2 December, 2003.]
Section 85 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Executive authority of the Republic
1. The executive authority of the Republic is vested in the President.
2. The President exercises the executive authority, together with the other members of the Cabinet, by
a. implementing national legislation except where the Constitution or an Act of Parliament provides otherwise;
b. developing and implementing national policy;
c. co-ordinating the functions of state departments and administrations;
d. preparing and initiating legislation; and
e. performing any other executive function provided for in the Constitution or in national legislation.
Section 86 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Election of President
- At its first sitting after its election, and whenever necessary to fill a vacancy, the National Assembly must elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.
- The Chief Justice must preside over the election of the President, or designate another judge to do so. The procedure set out in Part A of Schedule 3 applies to the election of the President.
[Sub-s. (2) substituted by s. 6 of Act No. 34 of 2001.]
- An election to fill a vacancy in the office of President must be held at a time and on a date determined by the Chief Justice, but not more than 30 days after the vacancy occurs.
[Sub-s. (3) substituted by s. 6 of Act No. 34 of 2001.]
Section 87 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Assumption of office by President
When elected President, a person ceases to be a member of the National Assembly and, within five days, must assume office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution, in accordance with Schedule 2.
Section 88 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Term of office of President
1. The President’s term of office begins on assuming office and ends upon a vacancy occurring or when the person next elected President assumes office.
2. No person may hold office as President for more than two terms, but when a person is elected to fill a vacancy in the office of President, the period between that election and the next election of a President is not regarded as a term.
Section 89 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Removal of President
1. The National Assembly, by a resolution adopted with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of its members, may remove the President from office only on the grounds of
a. a serious violation of the Constitution or the law;
b. serious misconduct; or
c. inability to perform the functions of office.
2. Anyone who has been removed from the office of President in terms of subsection (1) (a) or (b) may not receive any benefits of that office, and may not serve in any public office.
Section 90 Constitution of South Africa 1996
1. When the President is absent from the Republic or otherwise unable to fulfil the duties of President, or during a vacancy in the office of President, an office-bearer in the order below acts as President:
a. The Deputy President.
b. A Minister designated by the President.
c. A Minister designated by the other members of the Cabinet.
d. The Speaker, until the National Assembly designates one of its other members.
2. An Acting President has the responsibilities, powers and functions of the President.
3. Before assuming the responsibilities, powers and functions of the President, the Acting President must swear or affirm faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution, in accordance with Schedule 2.
4. A person who as Acting President has sworn or affirmed faithfulness to the Republic need not repeat the swearing or affirming procedure for any subsequent term as Acting President during the period ending when the person next elected President assumes office.
[Sub-s. (4) added by s. 1 of Act No. 35 of 1997]
Section 91 Constitution of South Africa 1996
1. The Cabinet consists of the President, as head of the Cabinet, a Deputy President and Ministers.
2. The President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them.
3. The President
a. must select the Deputy President from among the members of the National Assembly;
b. may select any number of Ministers from among the members of the Assembly; and
c. may select no more than two Ministers from outside the Assembly.
4. The President must appoint a member of the Cabinet to be the leader of government business in the National Assembly.
5. The Deputy President must assist the President in the execution of the functions of government.
Section 92 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Accountability and responsibilities
1. The Deputy President and Ministers are responsible for the powers and functions of the executive assigned to them by the President.
2. Members of the Cabinet are accountable collectively and individually to Parliament for the exercise of their powers and the performance of their functions.
3. Members of the Cabinet must
a. act in accordance with the Constitution; and
b. provide Parliament with full and regular reports concerning matters under their control.
See also: Section 93-102 Constitution of South Africa 1996