The Constitution of South Africa

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CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA,
1996
(English text signed by the President)
[Promulgation Date: 18 December 1996]
[Commencement Date: 4 February 1997 – unless otherwise indicated] as amended by:
Constitution First Amendment Act of 1997
Constitution Second Amendment Act of 1998
Constitution Third Amendment Act of 1998
Constitution Fourth Amendment Act of 1999
Constitution Fifth Amendment Act of 1999
Constitution Sixth Amendment Act of 2001
Constitution Seventh Amendment Act of 2001
Constitution Eighth Amendment Act of 2002
Constitution Ninth Amendment Act of 2002
Constitution Tenth Amendment Act of 2003
[with effect from 20 March 2003]

Constitution Eleventh Amendment Act of 2003
[with effect from 11 July 2003]
[Note: The above-mentioned Amendment Acts have been amended by the Citation of Constitutional Laws Act 5 of 2005]

NOTE:
The Act has been amended by section 4 of the Constitution Second Amendment Act of 1998, by the substitution for the expression “Human Rights Commission”, wherever it occurs, of the expression “South African Human Rights Commission”.

ACT
To introduce a new Constitution for the Republic of South Africa and to provide for matters incidental thereto.
Preamble
We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;

Lay 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; Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

May God protect our people.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.
God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa.
Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
CHAPTER 1
FOUNDING PROVISIONS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Republic of South Africa
Supremacy of Constitution
Citizenship
National anthem
National flag
Languages
CHAPTER 2
BILL OF RIGHTS

7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.

Rights
Application
Equality
Human dignity
Life
Freedom and security of the person
Slavery, servitude and forced labour
Privacy
Freedom of religion, belief and opinion
Freedom of expression
Assembly, demonstration, picket and petition
Freedom of association
Political rights
Citizenship
Freedom of movement and residence
Freedom of trade, occupation and profession
Labour relations
Environment
Property
Housing
Health care, food, water and social security

28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.

Children
Education
Language and culture
Cultural, religious and linguistic communities
Access to information
Just administrative action
Access to courts
Arrested, detained and accused persons
Limitation of rights
States of emergency
Enforcement of rights
Interpretation of Bill of Rights
CHAPTER 3
CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT

40.
41.

Government of the Republic
Principles of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations CHAPTER 4
PARLIAMENT

42.
Composition of Parliament
43.
Legislative authority of the Republic
44.
National legislative authority
45.
Joint rules and orders and joint committees
46.
Composition and election
47.
Membership
48.
Oath or affirmation
49.
Duration of National Assembly
50.
Dissolution of National Assembly before...
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