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SA’s newly sworn-in 6th Parliament

South Africa’s new­ly sworn-in sixth Par­lia­ment con­sists of 446 Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment (MPs), 393 in the Nation­al Assem­bly (NA) and 53 in the Nation­al Coun­cil of Provinces (NCOP).

This fol­lows the swear­ing in of des­ig­nat­ed MPs on 22 and 23 May at first sit­tings of the NA and NCOP and Deputy Pres­i­dent David Mabuza’s swear­ing-in on 28 May.

Three mem­bers of the Cab­i­net, which Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 29 May, are not MPs. They are Parks Tau (Deputy Min­is­ter of Co-oper­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tion­al Affairs), Ebrahim Patel (Min­is­ter of Trade and Indus­try) and Hen­dri­et­ta Bogopane-Zulu (Deputy Min­is­ter of Social Devel­op­ment).

Sec­tions 91 and 92 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, states that the Pres­i­dent may appoint no more than two Cab­i­net Min­is­ters and no more than two deputy Min­is­ters who are not MPs of the NA.


In the 400-mem­ber seat NA, there are three vacan­cies (seats which des­ig­nat­ed MPs did not fill). These arose because des­ig­nat­ed MPs, Nomvu­la Mokonyane, Makhosi­ni Nkosi and Sylvia Lucas, were not sworn in to be mem­bers of the NA on 22 May.

Lucas was elect­ed Deputy Chair­per­son of the NCOP on 23 May.

There are cur­rent­ly also four casu­al vacan­cies (vacan­cies aris­ing from res­ig­na­tions after being sworn-in) in the NA. This is due to the recent res­ig­na­tions of Dipuo Let­sat­si-Duba, Susan Sha­ban­gu and Nomaindiya Mfeke­to from Par­lia­ment.

In addi­tion, Pres­i­dent Ram­pa­hosa ceased being an MP when the NA elect­ed him as Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic on 22 May. The total num­ber of vacan­cies and casu­al vacan­cies in the NA stands at sev­en.

Gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion

Of the cur­rent 393 NA MPs, 217 (55%) are men and 177 (45%) are women. This is a marked improve­ment on the NA of the fifth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment which had 168 (42.7%) women MPs.

Of the 54 des­ig­nat­ed Per­ma­nent Del­e­gates of the NCOP, 53 were sworn in on 23 May. The out­stand­ing Per­ma­nent Del­e­gate is Mohammed Dan­gor from the Gaut­eng Provin­cial Del­e­ga­tion.

Cur­rent­ly, the NCOP Per­ma­nent Del­e­gates com­pris­es of 33 (61%) men and 21 (39%) women. This, also, is a marked improve­ment on the 19 (35.2%) women Per­ma­nent Del­e­gates in the NCOP of the fifth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment.

Women MPs account for 44.5% of the sixth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment (both the NA and NCOP), an improve­ment of about 3% on the num­ber of women MPs in the fifth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment.

The fifth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment had 187 (41.1%) women MPs and was ranked num­ber 10 in the world in terms of women’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion. This was out of 193 Par­lia­ments, which the world body of Par­lia­ments, the Inter-Par­lia­men­tary Union, sur­veyed.

The improve­ment in women MPs in both Hous­es of Par­lia­ment and the increase in the num­ber of women Cab­i­net Min­is­ters – 50% for the first time, will ele­vate the voice of this key sec­tor of soci­ety in exec­u­tive deci­sion-mak­ing, law-mak­ing and over­sight of exec­u­tive action.

Dur­ing the term of the fifth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment, women made up 48.6% of Cab­i­net Min­is­ters.

Youth rep­re­sen­ta­tion

In terms of South Africa’s def­i­n­i­tion of youth (14 to 35 years old), the pres­ence of youth MPs has also almost dou­bled in the sixth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment.

A total of 51 (11%) MPs are youth, a sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment from the fifth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment, which was con­sist­ed of 27 (6%) youth MPs.

Of the youth MPs in the sixth demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­lia­ment, 45 are NA MPs and six are NCOP Per­ma­nent Del­e­gates. Of the total 51 youth MPs, 22 are women and 29 are men.

Parliament’s youngest MP is 20-year-old Itume­leng Ntsube, an African Nation­al Con­gress mem­ber and Free State Per­ma­nent Del­e­gate to the NCOP.

The sec­ond youngest MP is 24-year-old Sibongiseni Ngcobo, a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Alliance MP in the NA. Fif­teen youth MPs are younger than 31, nine men and six women.

“The increase in young pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Cab­i­net and Par­lia­ment will fur­ther boost the nation­al endeav­our to tack­ling par­tic­u­lar­ly the socio-eco­nom­ic chal­lenges con­fronting our nation’s youth,” Par­lia­ment said in a state­ment.

A StatsSA sur­vey released last year showed that South Africa is main­ly a young and female soci­ety. Women make up 51% of the pop­u­la­tion and 35.7% of the pop­u­la­tion is between 15 and 34 years old.

Par­ties rep­re­sent­ed in the NA

Polit­i­cal par­ties rep­re­sent­ed in the NA are the:

  1. African Nation­al Con­gress (ANC) 57.50%, 230 seats
  2. Demo­c­ra­t­ic Alliance (DA) – 20.77%, 84 seats
  3. Eco­nom­ic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) – 10.79%, 44 seats
  4. Inkatha Free­dom Par­ty (IFP) – 3.38%, 14 seats
  5. Free­dom Front Plus (FF Plus) – 2.38%, 10 seats
  6. African Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (ACDP) – 0.84%, 4 seats
  7. Unit­ed Demo­c­ra­t­ic Move­ment (UDM) – 0.45%, 2 seats
  8. African Trans­for­ma­tion Move­ment (ATM) – 0.44%, 2 seats
  9. Good – 0.40%, 2 seats
  10. Nation­al Free­dom Par­ty (NFP) – 0.35%, 2 seats
  11. African Inde­pen­dent Con­gress (AIC) – 0.28%, 2 seats
  12. Con­gress of the Peo­ple (COPE) – 0.27%, 2 seats
  13. Pan African­ist Con­gress of Aza­nia (PAC) – 0.19%, 1 seat
  14. Al Jama’ah – 0.18%, 1 seat

Par­ties rep­re­sent­ed in the NCOP

First sit­tings of Provin­cial Leg­is­la­tures elect­ed the NCOP’s 54 Per­ma­nent Del­e­gates as fol­lows – accord­ing to provin­cial votes which par­ties secured:

  • East­ern Cape: 4 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • Free State: 3 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF, 1 from the FF Plus
  • Gaut­eng: 3 from the ANC, 2 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • KwaZu­lu-Natal: 3 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the IFP, 1 from the EFF
  • Limpopo: 4 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • Mpumalan­ga: 4 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • North­ern Cape: 3 from the ANC, 2 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • North West: 3 from the ANC,1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF, 1 from the FF Plus
  • West­ern Cape: 3 from the DA, 2 from the ANC, 1 from the EFF


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