Government tables the third Constitution of the Republic of South Africa before the House of Assembly


SA President, PW Botha Source:

Thursday, 5 May 1983

In 1983 the South African government passed the third Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The Conservative Party opposed the Constitution, while the Progressive Federal Party abstained. It was read a second time on 18 May of the same year.  Subsequently it was approved by the ruling National Party (NP) majority.  The Constitution created the tri-cameral parliament, providing for separate houses for White, Coloured and Indian groups. It excluded African people, on grounds that they were citizens of homelands. Consequently, they had no rights outside of their homelands. The Constitution also declaredP.W. Botha both the formal and executive head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the South African Defence Force (SADF).

• South African History Online, ‘South African Constitution 1996’, [online], available at (Accessed: 12 April 2013)
• O’Malley, P. ‘1983’ from Nelson Mandela Center of Memory, [online], available at (Accessed: 12 April 2013)  

Last updated : 04-May-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 03-May-2013

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