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Government, Provincial and Local Government

bantustans, Bophuthatswana, interim constitution, provincial assembly, proportional representation

South Africa is divided into nine provinces. These provinces are Gauteng, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, North-West Province, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

Until 1994 South Africa was divided into four provinces (Cape Province, Natal, Orange Free State, and Transvaal) and ten bantustans, including four that had been declared independent (Transkei, Venda, Bophuthatswana, and Ciskei). The bantustans were dissolved and reincorporated into South Africa when the interim constitution took effect in 1994.

Provincial assemblies are elected by proportional representation and vary in size from 30 to 80 members, according to population. Each province has a premier, elected by the provincial assembly, who presides over an executive council of no more than 10 members. Matters of exclusive provincial control under the constitution include various planning, cultural, sporting, and recreational matters. A much longer list of more important business, including agriculture, education, housing, police (in part), tourism, regional planning, urban and rural development, and welfare services, are areas of joint national and provincial control.

At the local level, the country is divided into metropolitan municipalities, district municipalities, and local municipalities, each governed by an elected municipal council.

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