National Council of Provinces

National Council of Provinces

26th South African Parliament
Thandi Modise, ANC
Since 22 May 2014
Deputy Chairperson
Raseriti Tau, ANC
Since 22 May 2014
Seats 90 (54 permanent, 36 special)
Political groups
  •          ANC (33 + 27)
  •          DA (13 + 7)
  •          EFF (6 + 1)
  •          Others (2 + 1)
Indirect proportional representation from provincial legislatures
Last election
21 May 2014
Meeting place
NCOP Chamber, Houses of Parliament, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
National Council of Provinces
National Council of Provinces interior

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is the upper house of the Parliament of South Africa under the (post-apartheid) constitution which came into full effect in 1997. It replaced the former Senate, but is very similar to that body, and to many other upper houses of legislatures throughout the world, in that its purpose is to represent the governments of the provinces, rather than directly representing the people.[1]


This article is part of a series on the
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South Africa

Election to the NCOP is indirect: citizens vote for provincial legislatures, and each legislature then nominates a delegation of ten members to the NCOP. This means that each of South Africa's nine provinces has equal representation in the Council regardless of population. Each provincial delegation consists of six permanent delegates, who are nominated for a term that lasts until a new provincial legislature is elected, and four special delegates.[2] One of the special delegates is the province's Premier, or another member of the provincial legislature designated by the Premier, while the other three special delegates are designated ad hoc by the provincial legislature. The party representation in the delegation must proportionally reflect the party representation in the provincial legislature, according to a formula included in the Constitution.[2] A delegation from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), which represents the municipalities, may also attend sittings of the NCOP, but may not vote.

After the elections of 7 May 2014, the new provincial legislatures met on 21 May to elect NCOP delegations. The delegations elected are described in the following table.

Party Delegate type Province Total
African National Congress Permanent 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 2 33 60
Special 3 3 2 3 4 4 3 3 2 27
Democratic Alliance Permanent 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 4 13 20
Special 1 1 2 1 2 7
Economic Freedom Fighters Permanent 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 7
Special 1 1
Inkatha Freedom Party Permanent 1 1
National Freedom Party Special 1 1
United Democratic Movement Permanent 1 1
Total 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 90


The NCOP may consider, amend, propose amendments to, or reject legislation. It must consider all national bills, and also has the power to initiate legislation in the functional areas where Parliament and the provincial legislatures have concurrent legislative power ("Schedule 4 areas").[1]

The NCOP has three decision-making mechanisms depending on the type of bill:[3]

In considering Section 74 and 76 bills, each delegation must vote in accordance with a mandate approved by the provincial legislature that it represents.[4]

Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces

 | 10 other official names:
 | Voorsitter van die Nasionale Raad van Provinsies  (Afrikaans)
 | Usihlalo womKhandlu weNarha oNgamele iimFunda  (Southern Ndebele)
 | uSihlalo weBhunga leSizwe lamaPhondo  (Xhosa)
 | uSihlalo womMkhandlu kaZwelonke weziFundazwe  (Zulu)
 | Sihlalo weMkhandlu waVelonkhe wetiFundza  (Swati)
 | Modulasetulo wa Lekgotla la Bosetšhaba la Diprofense  (Northern Sotho)
 | Modulasetulo wa Lekgotla la Naha la Diprofense  (Sotho)
 | Monnasetulo wa Lekgotla la Bosetšhaba la Diporofense  (Tswana)
 | Mutshamaxitulu wa Huvo ya Rixaka ya Swifundzhankulu  (Tsonga)
 | Mudzulatshidulo wa Khoro ya Lushaka ya Mavunḓu  (Venda)

The following people have served as Chairperson of the NCOP:[5]

Name Term Party
Patrick Lekota6 February 1997 – 21 June 1999ANC
Naledi Pandor21 June 1999 – 4 May 2004ANC
Joyce Kgoali4 May 2004 – 21 November 2004ANC
M. J. Mahlangu21 November 2004 – 22 May 2014 (acting to 17 January 2005)ANC
Thandi Modise22 May 2014 – presentANC

See also


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