Transition and negotiation, 1990-1994

'Laws do not make a better society, people do ... it is crucial that the people of South Africa unite around a common respect for the Constitution'

Serialisation of The Soul of a Nation - Constitution-Making in South Africa. We will Publish the entire book in the next two weeks.

On 10 December 1996, the signatures on the country's new and final Constitution fixed a milestone beside the road of South African history, and marked the way for a new democratic order. The Constitution was also the birth certificate of the South African nation, a text adopted by an overwhelming 85 per cent of the Constitutional Assembly.

This Constitution is one of the most advanced in the world, establishing a constitutional democracy in which a finely Grafted Bill of Rights enjoys pride of place. It divides government into national, provincial, and local spheres. In order to avoid the tensions and conflict inherent in this separation, a principle of co-operative governance was adopted, which obliges each sphere of government to co-operate for the greater good of the entire country. The Constitution makes provision for an independent and impartial judicial system including a powerful Constitutional Court. An entire chapter is devoted to the establishment of state institutions designed to support a constitutional democracy, and a representative, open, and accountable government is guaranteed. It also obliges the civil service to be broadly representative and to conduct itself in a transparent and accountable manner. In addition, all institutions of government must adhere to strict financial and accounting procedures.

Read the full online book: The Soul of a Nation

Last updated : 10-Aug-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 21-Mar-2011

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