Government of the Northern Cape

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politics and government of
the Northern Cape

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The Northern Cape province of South Africa is governed in a parliamentary system in which the people elect the provincial legislature and the legislature, in turn, elects the Premier as head of the executive. The Premier leads an Executive Council consisting of members who oversee various executive departments. The structure of the provincial government is defined by chapter six of the Constitution of South Africa.


The Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, situated in Kimberley, is the legislative branch of the provincial government. It is a unicameral legislature of 30 members, elected by a system of party-list proportional representation. An election is held every five years, conventionally at the same time as the election of the National Assembly.

After the election of 22 April 2009 there were 19 members of the provincial legislature (MPLs) representing the African National Congress, five representing the Congress of the People, four representing the Democratic Alliance and two representing the Independent Democrats. The Independent Democrats are in coalition with the Democratic Alliance.


The Premier of the Northern Cape is the head of the provincial government; he or she is chosen by the members of the provincial parliament from amongst themselves. The Premier appoints Members of the Executive Council (MECs) to oversee the various departments of the provincial government. The Director-General is the non-political head of the provincial administration, while each department is led by a Head of Department. The current Premier is Sylvia Lucas of the African National Congress. Besides the Premier, the Executive Council consists of ten MECs overseeing eleven departments.

Portfolio MEC Department
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Norman Shushu Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs Alvin Botes Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs
Education Grizelda Cjiekella Education
Environment and Nature Conservation Patrick Mabilo Environment and Nature Conservation
Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism John Block Provincial Treasury
Economic Development and Tourism
Health Mxolisi Simon Sokatsha Health
Roads and Public Works Dawid Rooi Roads and Public Works
Social Development Tiny Chotelo Social Development
Sport, Arts and Culture Pauline Williams Sport, Arts and Culture
Transport, Safety and Liaison Ntsikelelo Jack Transport, Safety and Liaison


South Africa has a single national judiciary; there is no separate system of provincial courts. The Northern Cape Division of the High Court of South Africa in Kimberley has jurisdiction over all cases arising in the province, but generally handles only the most serious or high-profile criminal trials, high-value civil trials, cases involving judicial review of legislation or executive actions, and appeals from the magistrates' courts. Judges of the High Court periodically go on circuit to hear cases in parts of the province distant from Kimberley. Appeals from the High Court are to the national Supreme Court of Appeal and ultimately (if a constitutional matter is involved) to the Constitutional Court.

The province is divided into 26 magisterial districts and 6 sub-districts, each of which is served by a district magistrate's court. There are a further 24 branch and periodical courts to serve geographically dispersed districts. These district courts have jurisdiction over all criminal cases except murder, rape and treason and can impose a fine of up to R100,000 or a prison sentence of up to three years; and they have jurisdiction over civil cases where the value of the claim is less than R100,000. The regional magistrate's court for the Northern Cape, which sits at multiple locations in the province, has jurisdiction over all criminal cases except treason and can impose a fine of up to R300,000 or a prison sentence of up to fifteen years (or life in some circumstances). The regional court also has jurisdiction over civil cases where the value of the claim is less than R300,000, and divorce and family law cases.

Local government[edit]

The division of the Northern Cape into municipalities.

The Northern Cape is divided into five district municipalities which are subdivided into twenty-four local municipalities. The municipalities are listed below.

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