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South African Law


Provincial Legislation 

South Africa is a unitary state, and the Constitution has elements of federalism.

The nine provinces - Eastern Cape; Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo (previously called the Northern Province), Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and the Western Cape - have a role in drafting national legislation through their participation in the National Council of Provinces, the second house of Parliament. The provincial legislatures may also pass laws on certain matters such as education, health and housing. However, the national legislature retains its legislative power and precedence in these areas, and may override provincial legislation in the event of a conflict.

Exclusive provincial legislative competence is reserved for less important matters. Provincial legislatures are responsible for passing provincial Acts - these are known as subordinate legislation. Provincial legislatures are unicameral.

Legislation, including bills and Acts, and in some cases Hansards, for the nine provinces is available on the following official provincial government open access websites. There is no one open access site where all provincial legislation can be found or searched together. The Provincial Government of South Africa Provincial Legislatures website provides information on all nine legislatures and links to the official provincial legislature websites. The extent of legislation provided varies greatly between provincial legislatures. Some provincial legislature websites contain almost no legislation, some have broken links to their websites so it is not possible to tell what legislation is provided, some are very out of date. In general, very little legislation is provided. Only one province has comprehensive and up-to-date legislation - Western Cape.

An efficient way of keeping up to date with provincial legislation is Juta's Weekly Statutes Bulletin (open access). It is based on the provincial Gazettes published during the week, and lists all provincial legislation proclamations and notices. While there are no links to the full text Gazettes, it is the best way to be alerted to legislative development in the provinces, given the paucity of information on most provincial legislation websites. You can sign up to have the Bulletins emailed to you. Bulletins are available from 2011 to current.

All provincial Government Gazettes are available on Green Gazette website which is completely up to date. This is a subscription site to which we do not subscribe. Individual or all provinces can be subscribed to.

Individual Provincial Legislatures' Legislation Websites

  • Gauteng - the Bills and Acts page is located under the Publications tab, and only includes commentary on recently proposed bills. Also links to Order Papers, Question Papers and Committee Reports. There is an Archive that goes back to April 2016, but this does not appear to contain any bills or Acts.
  • KwaZulu-Natal Legislature - the Acts and Bills page is up to date but contains only recent provincial bills and national Parliament bills being 'looked at' by this provincial legislature. There seems to be provincial Acts on this page.
  • Limpopo - the Limpopo Government's Acts page contains several full text Acts as PDFs. They are listed in alphabetical order and are a mix of national and Limpopo Acts. 
  • Mpumalanga - the Provincial Legislature website's Acts and Bills section includes selected Provincial and National bills, and Provincial Acts (up to 2019).
  • North West - the Provincial Legislature website - see the overview tab for information on making laws, the constitution, and the three arms of government.
  • Northern Cape - the Provincial Legislature's website includes full text open access Acts (2010-2012 only) under the How We Operate tab. There is a bills page, but only 1 bill - from 2017 - is listed and the bill is not available in full text.
  • Western Cape - links to the 1997 Western Cape Constitution, full text bills and Acts as passed (2012 to current), Hansards from 2013 to current (can be browsed or searched). It also includes a bills status / tracking page.

Citing Provincial Legislation 

To cite in AGLC compliant style, see 23.2.1 in AGLC4 (view only PDF version available on open access)