Gauteng, which means "place of gold", is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. Situated in the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, accounting for only 1.5% of the land area. It is urbanised, containing the country's largest city, its administrative capital and other large areas such as Midrand and Vanderbijlpark; as of 2018, Gauteng is the most populous province in South Africa with a population of 14,700,000 people according to estimates. The name Gauteng is derived from gauta meaning "gold" with the locative suffix - eng. "Gauta" itself is derived from the Dutch word for gold, goud. There was a thriving gold industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg. In Sesotho, the name Gauteng was used for Johannesburg and surrounding areas long before it was adopted in 1994 as the official name of a province. Gauteng was formed from part of the old Transvaal Province after South Africa's first multiracial elections on 27 April 1994, it was named Pretoria–Witwatersrand–Vereeniging and was renamed "Gauteng" in December 1994..
The term "PWV", describing the region existed long before the establishment of the province. The history of the area, now Gauteng can be traced back to the early 1800s when settlers originating from the Cape Colony defeated chief Mzilikazi and started establishing villages in the area; the city of Pretoria was founded in 1855 as capital of the South African Republic. After the discovery of gold in 1886, the region proceeded to become the single largest gold producer in the world and the city of Johannesburg was founded; the older city Pretoria was not subject to development. Pretoria grew at a slower rate and was regarded due to its role in the Second Boer War; the Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond mined was mined near Pretoria in a nearby town called Cullinan in the year 1905. Gauteng has only been properly documented since the 1800s and as a result, not much information regarding its history predating the 1800s is available. At the Sterkfontein caves, some of the oldest fossils of hominids have been discovered, such as Mrs. Ples and Little Foot.
Many crucial events happened in present-day Gauteng with regards to the anti-apartheid struggle, such as the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, the Rivonia Trial in 1963 and 1964 and the Soweto Uprising of 1976. Today, the Apartheid Museum stands testament to these struggles in Johannesburg. Gauteng is governed by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, a 73-person unicameral legislature elected by party-list proportional representation; the legislature elects one of its members as Premier of Gauteng to lead the executive, the Premier appoints an Executive Council of up to 10 members of the legislature to serve as heads of the various government departments. The provincial government is responsible for the topics allocated to it in the national constitution, including such fields as basic education, housing, social services and environmental protection; the most recent election of the provincial legislature was held on 7 May 2014, the African National Congress won 53.59% of the vote and a 40-seat majority in the legislature.
The official opposition is the Democratic Alliance, which won 30.78 % of 23 seats. Other parties represented are the Economic Freedom Fighters with eight seats and the Freedom Front Plus and the Inkatha Freedom Party with one seat each. Premier David Makhura of the ANC was elected on 21 May 2014, at the first meeting of the legislature after the general election; the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa, which has seats in Pretoria and Johannesburg, is a superior court with general jurisdiction over the province. Johannesburg is home to the Constitutional Court, South Africa's highest court, to a branch of the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court. Gauteng's southern border is the Vaal River, it borders on North West to the west, Limpopo to the north, Mpumalanga to the east. Gauteng is the only landlocked province of South Africa without a foreign border. Most of Gauteng is on a high-altitude grassland. Between Johannesburg and Pretoria there are low parallel ridges and undulating hills, some part of the Magaliesberg Mountains and the Witwatersrand.
The north of the province is more subtropical, due to its lower altitude and is dry savanna habitat. In the southern half of Gauteng the Witwatersrand area is an old term describing a 120km wide oblong-shaped conurbation from Randfontein in the West to Nigel, Gauteng in the East; this area is often referred to as "Witwatersrand", "the Rand" or "the Reef". It has traditionally been divided into the three areas of Central Rand and West Rand; the climate is influenced by altitude. Though the province is at a subtropical latitude, the climate is comparatively cooler in Johannesburg, at 1,700 m above sea level. Most precipitation occurs as brief afternoon thunderstorms. Winters are crisp and dry with frost occurring in the southern areas. Snow is rare; the Gauteng Province is divided into three metropolitan municipalities and two district municipalities. The district municipalities are
Environmental movement in South Africa
The environmental movement in South Africa traces its history from the early beginnings of conservation, to the rise of radicalism and activism amongst local ecologists. Before the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the Berlin Wall, there were few green activist groups in the country. Koeberg Alert and the Dolphin Action and Protection Group are two of the oldest post-conservation groups. While most early conservationists, with few exceptions, implicated themselves in the apartheid system, groups such as Earthlife Africa were consciously aware of their role as nurturers of freedom and human rights as well as the rights of the earth and animal kingdom; the Cape Town Ecology Group for example campaigned for political freedoms with a platform that "ecologised politics and politicised ecology". During apartheid while political parties were banned, environmental groups served as an outlet for activism and political expression. In Durban, the Environmental Justice Network, sprung up alongside ant-apartheid issues that affected the environment as well as the rights of workers.
While many radical environmentalists were absorbed into the governing African National Congress, some toyed with the formation of a political party that would represent green interests. 1926: Wildlife Society of South Africa founded. 1983: Koeberg Alert founded. Environmental Justice Networking Forum formed at an ELA conference. 1993: Group for Environmental Monitoring founded. 1994: After South Africa's first democratic election, environmental rights submitted for debate to the Constitutional Assembly. 1995: eThekwini ECOPEACE founded 1996: South Africa's Bill of Rights proclaims: "Everyone has the right to an environment, not harmful to their health or well-being." 1997: The ANC government moves to provide lead-free petrol as one of its first pro-environment policies 1998: The Truth Commission hears about asbestos-related deaths from mining 1999: Groundwork, a non-profit, environmental justice service and development organization founded by 3 ex-EJNF activists 2000: South Durban Community Environmental Alliance formed.
2003: Asbestos Relief Trust set up, the Kgalagadi Relief Trust, both of which evaluate claims and provide compensation for qualified claimants. A media statement, indicates that the ban on the use of asbestos and asbestos-related materials was "well overdue." National Energy Caucus founded. 2004: Marthinus van Schalkwyk appointed as Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism 2006: Eskom, South Africa's national energy utility issues energy-saving lightbulbs to consumers as part of a "demand-side" energy-reduction campaign. Dept of Environmental Affairs and Tourism holds hearings on nuclear power. First evidence of contamination and worker-related deaths caused b exposure to radiation. 2009: South Africa participates in the Copenhagen Climate Change round. 2010: SA Government announces mothballing of PBMR 2011: South Africa hosts COP17 in Durban, a new framework emerges. 2015: South Africa hosts South African International Renewable Energy Conference. Federation of Green Parties of Africa Anti-nuclear movement
Pan-Africanism is a worldwide movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all indigenous and diasporan ethnic groups of sub-Saharan African descent. Based on a common fate going back to the Atlantic slave trade, the movement extends beyond continental Africans with a substantial support base among the African diaspora in the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States and Canada, it is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic and political progress and aims to "unify and uplift" people of sub-Saharan African descent. The ideology asserts that the fate of all sub-Saharan African countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is a belief that “Sub-Saharan African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora; the Organization of African Unity was established in 1963 to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its Member States and to promote global relations within the framework of the United Nations. The African Union Commission has its seat in Addis Ababa and the Pan-African Parliament has its seat in Johannesburg and Midrand.
Pan-Africanism stresses the need for "collective self-reliance". Pan-Africanism exists as a grassroots objective. Pan-African advocates include leaders such as Haile Selassie, Julius Nyerere, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara and Muammar Gaddafi, grassroots organizers such as Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X, academics such as W. E. B. Du Bois, others in the diaspora. Pan-Africanists believe that solidarity will enable the continent to fulfill its potential to independently provide for all its people. Crucially, an all-African alliance would empower African people globally; the realization of the Pan-African objective would lead to "power consolidation in Africa", which "would compel a reallocation of global resources, as well as unleashing a fiercer psychological energy and political assertion...that would unsettle social and political structures...in the Americas". Advocates of Pan-Africanism—i.e. "Pan-Africans" or "Pan-Africanists"—often champion socialist principles and tend to be opposed to external political and economic involvement on the continent.
Critics accuse the ideology of homogenizing the experience of people of African descent. They point to the difficulties of reconciling current divisions within countries on the continent and within communities in the diaspora; as a philosophy, Pan-Africanism represents the aggregation of the historical, spiritual, artistic and philosophical legacies of Africans from past times to the present. Pan-Africanism as an ethical system traces its origins from ancient times, promotes values that are the product of the African civilisations and the struggles against slavery, racism and neo-colonialism. Alongside a large number of slaves insurrections, by the end of the 18th century a political movement developed across the Americas and Africa that sought to weld disparate movements into a network of solidarity, putting an end to oppression. Another important political form of a religious Pan-Africanist worldview appeared in the form of Ethiopianism. In London, the Sons of Africa was a political group addressed by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano in the 1791 edition of his book Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery.
The group addressed meetings and organised letter-writing campaigns, published campaigning material and visited parliament. They wrote to figures such as Granville Sharp, William Pitt and other members of the white abolition movement, as well as King George III and the Prince of Wales, the future George IV. Modern Pan-Africanism began around the start of the 20th century; the African Association renamed the Pan-African Association, was established around 1897 by Henry Sylvester-Williams, who organized the First Pan-African Conference in London in 1900. With the independence of Ghana in March 1957, Kwame Nkrumah was elected as the first Prime Minister and President of the State. Nkrumah emerged as a major advocate for the unity of Independent Africa; the Ghanaian President embodied a political activist approach to pan-Africanism as he championed the "quest for regional integration of the whole of the African continent". This period represented a "Golden Age of high pan-African ambitions". Nkrumah’s pan-African principles intended for a union between the Independent African states upon a recognition of their commonality.
Pan-Africanism under Nkrumah evolved past the assumptions of a racially exclusive movement associated with black Africa, adopted a political discourse of regional unity In April 1958, Nkrumah hosted the first All-African Peoples' Conference in Accra, Ghana. The Conference invited delegates of major political leaders. With the exception of South Africa, all Independent States of the Continent attended: Egypt, Ghana, Libya, Morocco and Sudan; the Conference signified a monumental event in the pan-African movement, as it revealed a political and social union between those considered Arabic states and the black African regions. Further, the Conference espoused a common African Nationalist identity, among the States, of unity and anti-Imperialism. Frantz Fanon, freedom fighter and a member of the Algerian FLN party attended the conference as a delegate for Algeria. Considering the armed struggle of the FLN against French colonial rule, the attendees of the Conference agreed to support the struggle of those States under colonial oppression.
Mitchells Plain is a suburb about 32 km from the city of Cape Town. It is one of South Africa's largest suburbs, it is located on the Cape Flats on the False Bay coast between Khayelitsha. Conceived of as a "model suburb" by the apartheid government, it was built during the 1970s to provide housing for Coloured victims of forced removal due to the implementation of the Group Areas Act; the suburb was named after Mitchell Baker but this is unconfirmed, is one of a number of possible explanations. At an estimated population of 290,000 - 305,000 people, it comprises a number of sub-sections which reflect the diverse class backgrounds of the population. Once a major stronghold of the United Democratic Front, the broad-based ANC-sponsored anti-apartheid body, it is now known more for gangsterism and methamphatemine addiction among the youth, it has one of Cape Town's biggest shopping centres, the Liberty Promenade. Mitchells Plain was created by the apartheid government in the early 1970s as a Coloured township for middle-income families.
The township was laid out in terms of the neighbourhood unit concept with large open spaces, localised public facilities and wide arterial routes. Various forms of housing were provided including, semi-detached and duplex housing. However, by the late 80's and 90's, major areas of Mitchells Plain deteriorated into urban ghettos. Gangsterism and drug abuse has increased and a number of informal settlements has sprung up in several areas. According to 2011 census data compiled by Statistics South Africa, Mitchells Plain comprises the following in terms of demographics: Today Mitchells Plain is one of Cape Town's and South Africa's largest townships with a population of about 290,000 people. In terms of economic activity, investment is in retail development with Mitchell's Plain being considered as having the strongest level of investment on the Cape Flats, it has a central business district, locally called the "Town Centre" and three large shopping centres. The Promenade Shopping Centre is the largest with more than 120 stores comprising major clothing, furniture and restaurant chains.
Informal economic activity is a significant part of the local economy. Such activity reflects a dominance of retail functions with informal trading responding to market and thus concentrated around the main public transport interchanges and along utilised pedestrian routes. Mitchells Plain is reasonably well served by public transport services comprising commuter rail and mini-bus taxi services. There are 3 Cape Metrorail commuter rail stations within the area at Kapteinsklip, Mitchell's Plain and Lentegeur; the rail line extends northwards towards Philippi, Cape Town's CBD and the industrial areas at Epping. The commuter rail service is characterised by overcrowding during morning and afternoon peak periods as well as being unsafe during off-peak periods; the Mitchell's Plain Public Transport Interchange at the Mitchell's Plain Station include a major bus terminus and taxi rank which provides public transport services to every major employment area within the City of Cape Town during the morning peak period.
There is regular scheduled bus and unscheduled mini-bus taxi services to Cape Town CBD, Bellville and other areas. At more than 30 000 passenger trips per weekday and more than 90,000 passengers daily, it is one of the busiest transport interchanges in the city. Recent years have seen significant investment by the local authority in improving and upgrading public transport infrastructure and facilities at the Mitchell's Plain Interchange; the Mitchells Plain CBD is referred to as the Town Center by residents. It is a shopping district that includes a 58 000 square meter retail plaza, a shopping centre over and around in the train station, a public library, two major transport interchanges and informal markets. Informal traders in the Town Center sell fruit, stationary and cosmetics. Like the townships of Soweto and Delft, Mitchells Plain, believed to be South Africa's 3rd largest township, is split into a number of sub-sections; the western half of the township is home to a wealthier population, while the eastern half comprises poorer communities.
Rocklands Westridge Portlands Tafelsig Eastridge Beacon Valley Lentegeur Woodlands Weltevreden Valley Colorado Park Mandalay Watergate Developments Heinz Park Morgans Village Rondevlei Westgate Montrose Park Lost City Mitchells Plain is home to 85 schools, Some of these schools include Meadowridge Primary School, Lentegeur, Beacon Hill, Oval North, Glendale, Spine Road, Portland, Woodlands, Tafelsig and Seaview Primary. In the latter years of apartheid Mitchells Plain became the seat of the launch of the United Democratic Front, a mass democratic movement of community organisations and trade unions fighting against apartheid, it was launched in August 1983 with such leaders of the people as Dr Allan Boesak, Albertina Sisulu, Helen Joseph, Joe Marks, Trevor Manuel, Mosiuoa "Terror" Lekota and many others present. The most active social movements and activist organisations in Mitchells Plain after apartheid have been the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, the Treatment Action Campaign and the Mitchells Plain Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association.
The Mitchell's Plain Backyarders Association, which had strong links to the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, organised a massive land occupation - The Mitchell's Plain Land Occupation in 2011. Nizaam Carr is a South African rugby union football
The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, meaning Afrikaner Resistance Movement known by its abbreviation AWB, is a South African neo-Nazi separatist political and paramilitary organisation described as a white supremacist group. Since its founding in 1973 by Eugène Terre'Blanche and six other far-right Afrikaners, it has been dedicated to secessionist Afrikaner nationalism and the creation of an independent Boer-Afrikaner republic or "Volkstaat/Boerestaat" in part of South Africa. During bilateral negotiations to end apartheid in the early 1990s, the organization terrorized and killed black South Africans; as of 2016, it is reported that the organization has around 5,000 members, uses social media for recruitment. On 7 July 1973 Eugène Terre'Blanche, a former police officer, called a meeting of several men in Heidelberg, Gauteng, in the then-Transvaal Province of South Africa, he was disillusioned by what he thought were Prime Minister B. J. Vorster's "liberal views" of racial issues in the white-minority country, after a period in which black majorities had ascended to power in many former colonies.
Terre'Blanche worried about what he characterized as communist influences in South African society. He decided to form a group with six other like-minded persons, which they named the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, to promote Afrikaner nationalism, his associates elected him as head of the group, a position he held until he was killed on his farm in April 2010. Their objective was to establish an independent Boerestaat for Boer-Afrikaner people only, it was to be independent of apartheid South Africa. The AWB was formed to try to regain the ground. During the 1970s and 1980s, the AWB attracted several thousand white South Africans as members, they opposed the reform of apartheid laws during the 1980s, harassing liberal politicians and holding large political rallies. Terre'Blanche used forceful personality to win converts, he railed against the lifting of many so-called "petty apartheid" laws, such as the law banning interracial sex and marriage, mixing of the races, as well as the government providing limited political rights to Indians and Coloureds.
During the State of Emergency, AWB violence and murders of unarmed non-whites were reported. The AWB opposed the then-banned African National Congress, which worked to achieve political rights for the indigenous native South Saharan Africans; the ruling National Party considered the AWB to be little more than a fringe group. The group operated unhindered until 1986, when white police officers took the unprecedented step of using tear gas against the AWB when they disrupted a National Party rally. In 1988, the organisation was estimated to have had support amongst 5 to 7 percent of the white South African population. In the Nick Broomfield documentary film, His Big White Self, he claimed the organisation reached a peak of half a million supporters in its heyday. During the negotiations that led to South Africa's first multiracial elections, the AWB engaged in violence and murder. During the Battle of Ventersdorp in August 1991, the AWB confronted police in front of the town hall where President F. W. de Klerk was speaking, "a number of people were killed or injured" in the conflict.
In the negotiations, the AWB stormed the Kempton Park World Trade Centre where the negotiations were taking place, breaking through the glass front of the building with an armoured car. The police guarding the centre failed to prevent the invasion; the invaders took over the main conference hall, threatening delegates and painting slogans on the walls, but left again after a short period. Six AWB members were sentenced to death for the murder of four black people at a fake roadblock they set up to terrorize black travellers. In 1988, the AWB was beset by scandal when claims that Terre'Blanche had had an affair with journalist Jani Allan surfaced. In July 1989, Cornelius Lottering, a member of a breakaway AWB group Orde van die Dood, attempted to assassinate Allan by placing a bomb outside her Sandton apartment. Nick Broomfield's 1991 documentary The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife claimed that Terre'Blanche had sex with Allan, a claim she denied; this led to Allan taking libel proceedings against the documentary broadcaster Channel 4 in 1992 in the London High Court.
During the trial, several transcripts of their alleged unconventional sexual positions appeared in the South African and British press. Terre'Blanche submitted a sworn statement to the London court denying that he had had an affair with Allan. Although the judge found that Channel 4's allegations had not defamed Allan, he did not rule on whether or not there had been an affair. AWB members provided training to members of the Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party to help them defend themselves against the ANC and fight for a Zulu homeland. In 1994, before the advent of majority rule, the AWB gained international notoriety in its attempt to defend the dictatorial government of Lucas Mangope in the homeland of Bophuthatswana; the AWB, along with a contingent of about 90 Afrikaner Volksfront militiamen, entered the capital Mmabatho on 10 and 11 March. The black policemen and soldiers of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force who were out in force to support president Mangope
Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles or more to movements which call for full implementation of sharia, it is used interchangeably with the terms political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism. In academic usage, the term Islamism does not specify what vision of "Islamic order" or sharia are being advocated, or how their advocates intend to bring them about. In Western mass media it tends to refer to groups whose aim is to establish a sharia-based Islamic state with implication of violent tactics and human rights violations, has acquired connotations of political extremism. In the Muslim world, the term has positive connotations among its proponents. Different currents of Islamist thought include advocating a "revolutionary" strategy of Islamizing society through exercise of state power, alternately a "reformist" strategy to re-Islamizing society through grass-roots social and political activism.
Islamists may emphasize the implementation of sharia. Graham Fuller has argued for a broader notion of Islamism as a form of identity politics, involving "support for identity, broader regionalism, revitalization of the community." Some authors hold the term "Islamic activism" to be synonymous and preferable to "Islamism", Rached Ghannouchi writes that Islamists prefer to use the term "Islamic movement" themselves. Central and prominent figures in twentieth-century Islamism include Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Abul Ala Maududi, Ruhollah Khomeini. Most Islamist thinkers emphasize peaceful political processes, which are supported by the majority of contemporary Islamists. Others, Sayyid Qutb in particular, called for violence, his followers are considered Islamic extremists, although Qutb denounced the killing of innocents. According to Robin Wright, Islamist movements have "arguably altered the Middle East more than any trend since the modern states gained independence", redefining "politics and borders".
Following the Arab Spring, some Islamist currents became involved in democratic politics, while others spawned "the most aggressive and ambitious Islamist militia" to date, ISIS. The term Islamism, which denoted the religion of Islam, first appeared in the English language as Islamismus in 1696, as Islamism in 1712; the term appears in the U. S. Supreme Court decision in In Re Ross. By the turn of the twentieth century the shorter and purely Arabic term "Islam" had begun to displaced it, by 1938, when Orientalist scholars completed The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Islamism seems to have disappeared from English usage; the term "Islamism" acquired its contemporary connotations in French academia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From French, it began to migrate to the English language in the mid-1980s, in recent years has displaced the term Islamic fundamentalism in academic circles; the new use of the term "Islamism" at first functioned as "a marker for scholars more to sympathize" with new Islamic movements.
A 2003 article in the Middle East Quarterly states: In summation, the term Islamism enjoyed its first run, lasting from Voltaire to the First World War, as a synonym for Islam. Enlightened scholars and writers preferred it to Mohammedanism. Both terms yielded to Islam, the Arabic name of the faith, a word free of either pejorative or comparative associations. There was no need for any other term, until the rise of an ideological and political interpretation of Islam challenged scholars and commentators to come up with an alternative, to distinguish Islam as modern ideology from Islam as a faith... To all intents and purposes, Islamic fundamentalism and Islamism have become synonyms in contemporary American usage; the Council on American–Islamic Relations complained in 2013 that the Associated Press's definition of "Islamist"—a "supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam who view the Quran as a political model"—had become a pejorative shorthand for "Muslims we don't like". Mansoor Moaddel, a sociologist at Eastern Michigan University, criticized it as "not a good term" because "the use of the term Islamist does not capture the phenomena, quite heterogeneous."
The AP Stylebook entry for Islamist as of 2013 read as follows: "An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists. Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Taliban, etc; those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi." Islamism has been defined as: "the belief that Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life", a form of "religionized politics"
Politics of South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The President of South Africa serves both as head of government; the President is elected by the National Assembly and must retain the confidence of the Assembly in order to remain in office. South Africans elect provincial legislatures which govern each of the country's nine provinces. Since the end of apartheid in 1994 the African National Congress has dominated South Africa's politics; the ANC is the ruling party in the national legislature, as well as in eight of the nine provinces. The ANC received 62.15% of the vote during the 2014 general election. It had received 62.9% of the popular vote in the 2011 municipal election. The main challenger to the ANC's rule is the Democratic Alliance, led by Mmusi Maimane, which received 22.23% of the vote in the 2014 election. Other major political parties represented in Parliament include the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Inkatha Freedom Party, which represents Zulu voters.
The dominant New National Party, which both introduced and ended apartheid through its predecessor the National Party, disbanded in 2005 to merge with the ANC. Jacob Zuma served as President of South Africa since May 9, 2009 until his resignation in February 2018. Zuma was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa; the country's next general election will be held in 2019. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated South Africa as "flawed democracy" in 2016. South Africa is a parliamentary representative democratic republic, wherein the President of South Africa, elected by parliament, is the head of government, of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of Parliament, the Council of Provinces and the National Assembly; the judiciary is independent of the legislature. Government is three-tiered, with representatives elected at the national and local levels. Following the 1994 elections, South Africa was governed under an interim constitution.
This constitution required the Constituent Assembly to draft and approve a permanent constitution by 9 May 1996. The Government of National Unity established under the interim constitution ostensibly remained in effect until the 1999 national elections; the parties comprising the GNU – the African National Congress, the National Party, the Inkatha Freedom Party – shared executive power. On 30 June 1996, the NP withdrew from the GNU to become part of the opposition. Under the Constitution, the President is both head of head of government. General elections take place every 5 years; the first multi-racial democratic election was held in 1994, the second in 1999, the third in 2004, the fourth in 2009, the most recent in 2014. Until 2008, elected officials were allowed to change political party, while retaining their seats, during set windows which occurred twice each electoral term, due to controversial floor crossing legislative amendments made in 2002; the last two floor crossing windows occurred in 2005 and in 2007.
After the 2009 elections, the ANC lost its two-thirds majority in the national legislature which had allowed it to unilaterally alter the constitution. The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party are in a formal alliance with the ruling ANC, thus do not stand separately for election. Notes: The constitution's bill of rights provides extensive guarantees, including equality before the law and prohibitions against discrimination; the legal rights of criminal suspects are enumerated. It includes wide guarantees of access of food, education, health care, social security; the constitution provides for an independent and impartial judiciary, and, in practice, these provisions are respected. Citizens' entitlements to a safe environment, housing and health care are included in the bill of rights, are known as secondary constitutional rights. In 2003 the constitutional secondary rights were used by the HIV/AIDS activist group the Treatment Action Campaign as a means of forcing the government to change its health policy.
Violent crime, including violence against women and children, organised criminal activity are at high levels and are a grave concern. As a result, vigilante action and mob justice sometimes occur; some members of the police are accused of abusing suspects in custody. In April 1997, the government established an Independent Complaints Directorate to investigate deaths in police custody and deaths resulting from police action; some discrimination against women continues, discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS is becoming serious. There has been growing political repression. Many leaders of former bantustans or homelands have had a role in South African politics since their abolition. Mangosuthu Buthelezi was chief minister of his Kwa-Zulu homeland from 1976 until 1994. In post-apartheid South Africa he has served as President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, he was a Minister in President Mandela's cabinet. He acted as President of the country when President Nelson Mandela was out of the country.
Bantubonke Holomisa, a general in the homeland of Transkei from 1987, has served as the president of the United Democratic Mov