National Assembly of South Africa

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National Assembly
26th Parliament
Type
Type
Leadership
Baleka MbeteANC
since 21 May 2014
Deputy Speaker
Lechesa TsenoliANC
since 21 May 2014
Leader of Government Business
Cyril RamaphosaANC
since 25 May 2014
Mmusi MaimaneDA
since 26 May 2014
Structure
Seats 400
National Assembly of South Africa 2014.svg
Political groups
  •      ANC (249)
  •      DA (89)
  •      EFF (25)
  •      IFP (10)
  •      Others (27)
Elections
Party-list proportional representation
Last election
7 May 2014
Next election
2019
Meeting place
National Assembly of South Africa 2007.jpg
National Assembly Chamber, Houses of Parliament, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Website
National Assembly

The National Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament of South Africa, located in Cape Town, Western Cape Province. It consists of four hundred members who are elected every five years using a party-list proportional representation system where half of the members are elected proportionally from 9 provincial lists and the remaining half from national lists so as to restore proportionality.

The National Assembly is presided over by a Speaker, assisted by a Deputy Speaker. The current Speaker is Baleka Mbete and the Deputy Speaker is Lechesa Tsenoli; they were elected on 21 May 2014.[1]

Allocation[edit]

The National Assembly seats are allocated using a proportional representation system with closed lists. Seats are first allocated according to the (integer part of the) Droop quota. Thereafter at most five seats are allocated using the largest remainder method (using the Droop quota). Any additional seats are allocated amongst the parties who then already have seats using the highest averages method.

Voters have one vote at elections to the National Assembly. Seats are allocated in ten multi-member constituencies via party lists. One constituency is a national or 'at large' constituency and nine others represent each of the nine provinces. The lists were called the national lists and regional lists in the 2009 election. 'Regional' was used to avoid confusion with the provincial legislature elections held at the same time. Previously they were called 'National to National' and 'Provincial to National'.

Of the 400 members of the National Assembly, half are assigned to be elected from national lists and the remaining half are assigned to be elected from regional lists. Every election, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) determines the allocation of the 200 regional list seats to each province by population.

Parties decide whether they want to set up both national and regional lists or only regional lists. In the 2009 election, the Democratic Alliance (DA) chose not to use a national list. The nationwide votes entitled the DA to 67 seats, but the provincial votes amounted to only 35 seats. While normally the remaining 32 members would be drawn from the party's national list, in this case the remaining seats were distributed among the other DA regional list candidates. This resulted in the National Assembly being made up of 168 members elected on national lists and 232 members elected on regional lists.

History[edit]

The change over time in the composition of the National Assembly. Solid vertical lines are elections; dashed vertical lines are floor-crossing periods.
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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The National Assembly was first elected in South Africa's first non-racial election in 1994 with the African National Congress (ANC) winning 252 of the 400 seats. The National Party (NP), the previous governing party, won 82 seats, and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) won 43. Under the terms of the Interim Constitution this result entitled the NP and the IFP to take part in the Government of National Unity alongside the ANC, and gave the ANC and NP the right to each nominated one Deputy President. The other parties represented in the assembly were the Freedom Front (9 seats), the Democratic Party (7 seats), the Pan Africanist Congress (5 seats), and the African Christian Democratic Party (2 seats).

In the election of 1999, the ANC won 266 seats, one short of the two-thirds majority needed to unilaterally amend the constitution. The DP expanded its representation to become the official opposition with 38 seats, while the IFP won 34. The NP, now renamed the New National Party (NNP), dropped to 28 seats, and the newly formed United Democratic Movement (UDM) won 14. Eight smaller parties also obtained seats in the assembly.

In the election of 2004 the ANC obtained 279 seats, gaining a two-thirds majority and the ability to change the constitution. The DP became the Democratic Alliance (DA) and remained the official opposition with 50 seats, while the IFP won 28 seats. The NNP was severely weakened, obtaining only 7 seats; the party was formally disbanded in 2005 with the majority of the party joining the ANC.

In the election of 2009 the ANC lost its two-thirds majority but remained the majority party with 264 seats. The DA increased its support to 67 seats, and the new Congress of the People (COPE) party, a breakaway from the ANC, obtained 30 seats. The IFP was reduced to 18 seats.

The following table shows the party composition of the National Assembly over time.

Event Date ANC DP / DA NP / NNP COPE EFF IFP NFP VF / VF+ UDM ACDP ID Others
1994 election 27 April 1994 252 7 82 43 9 2 5
1999 election 2 June 1999 266 38 28 34 14 6 3 11
2003 floor-crossing 4 April 2003 275 46 20 31 3 4 7 1 13
2004 election 14 April 2004 279 50 7 28 4 9 7 7 9
2005 floor-crossing 15 September 2005 293 47 23 4 6 4 5 18
2007 floor-crossing 15 September 2007 297 47 23 4 6 4 4 15
2009 election 22 April 2009 264 67 30 18 4 4 3 4 6
2014 election 7 May 2014 249 89 3 25 10 6 4 4 3 7

Election results[edit]

The last election was held on 7 May 2014.

e • d 
Party Votes % +/− Seats +/−
list African National Congress 11,436,921 62.15 Decrease 3.75 249 Decrease 15
list Democratic Alliance 4,091,584 22.23 [a]Increase 4.62 89 [a]Increase 18
list Economic Freedom Fighters 1,169,259 6.35 New 25 New
list Inkatha Freedom Party 441,854 2.40 Decrease 2.15 10 Decrease 8
list National Freedom Party 288,742 1.57 New 6 New
list United Democratic Movement 184,636 1.00 Increase 0.16 4 Steady 0
list Freedom Front Plus 165,715 0.90 Increase 0.07 4 Steady 0
list Congress of the People 123,235 0.67 Decrease 6.75 3 Decrease 27
list African Christian Democratic Party 104,039 0.57 Decrease 0.24 3 Steady 0
list African Independent Congress 97,642 0.53 New 3 New
list Agang SA 52,350 0.28 New 2 New
list Pan Africanist Congress 37,784 0.21 Decrease 0.07 1 Steady 0
list African People's Convention 30,676 0.17 Decrease 0.04 1 Steady 0
list Al Jama-ah 25,976 0.14 Decrease 0.01 0 Steady 0
list Minority Front 22,589 0.12 Decrease 0.12 0 Decrease 1
list United Christian Democratic Party 21,744 0.12 Decrease 0.26 0 Decrease 2
list Azanian People's Organisation 20,421 0.11 Decrease 0.11 0 Decrease 1
list Bushbuckridge Residents Association 15,271 0.08 New 0 New
list Independent Civic Organisation 14,472 0.08 New 0 New
list Patriotic Alliance 13,263 0.07 New 0 New
list Workers and Socialist Party 8,331 0.05 New 0 New
list Ubuntu Party 8,234 0.04 New 0 New
list Kingdom Governance Movement 6,408 0.03 New 0 New
list Front National 5,138 0.03 New 0 New
list Keep It Straight and Simple 4,294 0.02 Decrease 0.01 0 Steady 0
list Pan Africanist Movement 3,815 0.02 Decrease 0.01 0 Steady 0
list First Nation Liberation Alliance 3,297 0.02 New 0 New
list United Congress 3,136 0.02 New 0 New
list Peoples Alliance 1,671 0.01 New 0 New
Total 18,402,497 100.00 400
Valid votes 18,402,497 98.65
Spoilt votes 251,960 1.35
Total votes cast 18,654,457 100.00
Registered voters/turnout 25,381,293 73.50
Source: IEC

Notes:

  1. ^ a b Compared to the combined performance of the Democratic Alliance, the Independent Democrats and the South African Democratic Convention in 2009.

Current composition[edit]

Party Seats
African National Congress 249
Democratic Alliance 89
Economic Freedom Fighters 25
Inkatha Freedom Party 10
National Freedom Party 6
United Democratic Movement 4
Freedom Front Plus 4
Congress of the People 3
African Christian Democratic Party 3
African Independent Congress 3
Agang SA 2
Pan Africanist Congress 1
African People's Convention 1
Total 400

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mbete becomes new speaker". Independent Online. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

External links[edit]