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Western Cape Provincial Parliament

The Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) is the legislature of the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is located at 7 Wale Street in Cape Town.

Western Cape Provincial Parliament

Wes-Kaapse Provinsiale Parlement
iPalamente yePhondo leNtshona Kapa
6th Parliament
Coat of arms or logo
Sharna Fernandez, DA
since 21 May 2014
Deputy Speaker
Piet Pretorius, DA
since 22 February 2011
Western Cape Provincial Parliament 2019.svg
Political groups
  •      DA (24)

Official Opposition

  •      ANC (12)

Other parties

Party-list proportional representation
Last election
8 May 2019
Meeting place
Western Cape provincial building.jpg
7 Wale Street, Cape Town 8000

The Provincial Parliament, along with the other provincial legislatures of South Africa, exists by virtue of Chapter 6 of the Constitution of South Africa and Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Western Cape. It is unicameral, and consists of 42 members elected by a system of party-list proportional representation.

The Western Cape is unique amongst the provinces of South Africa in calling its legislature the "Provincial Parliament" and the members Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs). The other provinces use the terms "Provincial Legislature" and "Members of the Provincial Legislature".

The Sixth Provincial Parliament was elected on 8 May 2019 in South Africa's 2019 general elections. A majority of the members belong to the Democratic Alliance.



The Provincial Parliament is modelled on the Westminster system. The executive head of the provincial government, the Premier of the Western Cape, is elected by the Members of the Provincial Parliament from amongst themselves; conventionally the Premier will be the leader of the largest party in the parliament. The Premier then chooses the members of the Provincial Cabinet, who must also be MPPs. The Provincial Parliament also has the power to force the Premier and Cabinet to resign, by passing a motion of no confidence.[1]

The legislative power of the Provincial Parliament is restricted to certain fields enumerated in the national Constitution; in some of these fields the power is shared with the national Parliament. The fields on which the Provincial Parliament may legislate include health care, primary and secondary education, agriculture, transport, and land use planning. It also controls the budget of the provincial government departments.

Legislation may be introduced by any member, except for money bills, which may be introduced only by the Provincial Minister of Finance. Laws passed by the Provincial Parliament must be signed by the Premier before coming into effect. The Premier may refer a bill back to Parliament for reconsideration if she or he believes it is unconstitutional. If the Parliament re-passes it, then the Premier must either sign it or refer it to the Constitutional Court, which can make a final decision on its constitutionality.


The provincial legislature consists of 42 members, who are elected through a system of party list proportional representation with closed lists. In other words, each voter casts a vote for one political party, and seats in the legislature are allocated to the parties in proportion to the number of votes received. The seats are then filled by members in accordance with lists submitted by the parties before the election.

The legislature is elected for a term of five years, unless it is dissolved early. This may occur if the legislature votes to dissolve and it is at least three years since the last election, or if the Premiership falls vacant and the legislature fails to elect a new Premier within ninety days. By convention, all nine provincial legislatures and the National Assembly are elected on the same day.

The most recent election was held on 8 May 2019. The following table summarizes the results.

Party Votes Vote % Seats
Democratic Alliance 1,140,653 55.45 24
African National Congress 589,056 28.64 12
Economic Freedom Fighters 83,074 4.04 2
Good 61,877 3.01 1
African Christian Democratic Party 54,761 2.66 1
Freedom Front Plus 32,120 1.56 1
Al Jama-ah 17,605 0.86 1
Other parties 77,951 3.8 0
Total 2,057,097 100.0 42

The following table shows the composition of the provincial parliament after past elections and floor-crossing periods.

1994 election 27 April 1994 14 3 23 1 1
1999 election 2 June 1999 18 5 17 1 1
2003 floor-crossing 4 April 2003 22 7 10 2 1
2004 election 14 April 2004 19 12 5 2 3 1
2005 floor-crossing 15 September 2005 24 13 2 1 2
2007 floor-crossing 15 September 2007 27 11 2 1 1
2009 election 22 April 2009 14 22 3 1 2 0
2014 election 7 May 2014 14 26 0 1 1 0
2019 election 8 May 2019 12 24 0 2 1 3


The presiding officer of the Provincial Parliament is the Speaker, assisted by a Deputy Speaker. For the Fifth Provincial Parliament, the Speaker was Sharna Fernandez and the Deputy Speaker was Piet Pretorius, both members of the Democratic Alliance.

Apart from being the executive head of the province, the Premier also leads the governing party or coalition in the Provincial Parliament. The leader of the largest party not in government is recognised as Leader of the Opposition. As of 2009 the Premier is Helen Zille of the Democratic Alliance. Khaya Magaxa of the African National Congress is Leader of the Opposition since 2016, after Marius Fransman resigned after sexual misconduct allegations.[2]

List of SpeakersEdit

Name Entered Office Left Office Party
Willem Doman 1994 2001 NNP
Lynne Brown[3] 2001 2004 ANC
Shaun Byneveldt 2004 2009 ANC
Shahid Esau 2009 2011 DA
Richard Majola 2011 2014 DA
Sharna Fernandez 2014 Present DA

List of Opposition LeadersEdit

Name Entered Office Left Office Party
Theuns Botha 2004 2009 DA
Lynne Brown 2009 2014 ANC
Marius Fransman 2014 2016 ANC
Khaya Magaxa 2016 Present ANC

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Constitution of the Western Cape, 1997
  2. ^
  3. ^ "South Africa Local Leaders". Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership. Retrieved 7 May 2009.

External linksEdit