The Republic of South Africa is a parliamentary republic with a three-tier system of government and an independent judiciary, operating in a parliamentary system.
The national government is composed of three inter-connected branches:
- Legislative: Parliament, consisting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces
- Executive: The President, who is both Head of State and Head of Government
- Judicial: The Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the High Court
- Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
- National legislature: Bicameral Parliament elected every five years, comprising a 400-seat National Assembly and a 90-seat National Council of Provinces.
- Electoral system: List-system of proportional representation based on universal adult suffrage.
- Elections: National elections were held in 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. The next national election will take place in 2019.
- Head of state: The President is elected by the National Assembly. Under the Constitution, the President is permitted to serve a maximum of two five-year terms.
- Highest court: Constitutional Court