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South Africa has a rather very long and complex history. The southernmost country in the African continent has arguably more complexities than almost every other country of the world.

The history and evolution of South African government is one that is very interesting. As a result of the transition of the country to becoming what it is today, the country has been ruled by different forms of government.

South African Government:  Before colonialism

Prior to the times of colonialism, and the existence of “South Africa”, there were People in the area. These People were led by a form of Monarchical government.

The People that existed in these areas were not however under a single government as all of them, though little, were independent. Hence they each had their governments.

Among the people that existed in the region included the Zulu people who dominate ZwaZulu Natal areas, Bantu People and Xhosa People amongst others.

Colonial Times

With the scrambling of the world for economic benefits came colonialism. The colonial history of South Africa brought in the country into the British control. It was until after the late 1800s that the British finally got control of Cape Colony from where it expanded. Before then, this major area in South Africa was under the Dutch control.

In 1910, the Union of South Africa was formed. This was with the unification of Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony. All these colonies existed separately, though under the British control.

The government of the unified South Africa was the British Crown. A governor-general who represented the British Crown governed the area under the constitutional monarchy.

It was during this period that Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein were decided as the capitals of the country.

SA Government under the British crown came to an end in 1961. This led to a change of government, which replaced the British crown and Governor General with a State President of South Africa.

SA Government Under The National Party

The exit of the British Crown ushered in a government to be headed by the state president. The state president as noted by the 1961 Constitution would serve for a seven-year term after being elected by the parliament.

After South Africa became a republic, the government of the country was formed by the National party. Formed in the 1910s, the National Party was a nationalist party. Its leader, General JBM Hertzog was seen as one who promoted the interest of South Africa other that of the British.

Gov ZA under the NP expanded the racial segregation law that existed in the country prior to late 1940s. Under Hendrik Verwoerd, the apartheid policy was “officially” orchestrated and promoted. This had the black majority dominated by the minority whites.

The government of NP came under serious criticism from other African countries as well as international nations and bodies. The SA legislation on apartheid cost the country its place among commonwealth nations in 1961. In 1985, the country went under some economic sanctions by United States and the United Kingdom.

ANC Government

With a new constitution for the country in 1993, the apartheid regime came to an end and a new government was formed in the country.

This government came under the African National Congress (ANC) which was championed by Nelson Mandela, who had spent a over 20 years in prison under the NP government.

Since the formation of South African government under ANC, the party has held on to power till date. One major achievement it has recorded is as regards the country’s legislation (Legislation SA), which is done to safeguard the rights of citizens and ensure equality.

South African Government departments today are formed towards answering the vital question: What is the South African Government providing and to whom? Hence the departments are designed to assist the government in providing the needs of the citizens.

Among the ministries of the country is the ministry of finance headed by the Finance Minster South Africa. Other departments are Labour, Energy, Police Public Works, and Public Enterprises among others. The departments are headed by various ministers who form the cabinet.

Future Gov ZA

Today the country is losing trust in the ruling ANC. This is as a result of political recklessness of it most recent leaders, corruption in the system and crumbling economy among other things. This has resulted in the party suffering its major loss in local government elections since 1994, in 2016 local government elections.

This has raised the questions on whether or not soon the government of South Africa may end with the DA party.


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