National Assembly of South Africa

The National Assembly is the directly elected house of the Parliament of South Africa, located in Cape Town, Western Cape. It consists of four hundred members who are elected every five years using a party-list proportional representation system where half of the members are elected proportionally from nine provincial lists and the remaining half from national lists so as to restore proportionality.

National Assembly

  • 10 other official names:
  • Nasionale Vergadering (Afrikaans)
  • iNdlu yesiBethamthetho seNarha (Southern Ndebele)
  • iNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe (Xhosa)
  • iSishayamthetho sikaZwelonke (Zulu)
  • liBandla laVelonkhe (Swazi)
  • Seboka sa Maloko a Palamente (Northern Sotho)
  • Ntlo sa Seboka sa Naha (Sotho)
  • Ntlokokoano Bosetšhaba (Tswana)
  • Huvo ya Rixaka (Tsonga)
  • Buthano ḽa Lushaka (Venda)
27th Parliament (members)
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, ANC
since 19 August 2021
Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli, ANC
since 21 May 2014
David Mabuza, ANC
since 27 February 2018
Chief Whip of the Majority Party
Pemmy Majodina, ANC
since 22 May 2019
John Steenhuisen, DA
since 27 October 2019
Siviwe Gwarube, DA
since 18 August 2022
Political groups
Government (230)
  •   ANC (230)

Official Opposition (84)

  •   DA (84)

Other parties (86)

Closed list proportional representation
Last election
8 May 2019
Next election
Meeting place
Good Hope Chamber, Cape Town, South Africa[1]
National Assembly – Parliament of South Africa

The National Assembly is presided over by a Speaker, assisted by a Deputy Speaker. The current Speaker is Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula who previously served as the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. She was elected on 19 August 2021.[2] The Deputy Speaker is Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli who has served in the post since his election on 21 May 2014.[3][4]

The National Assembly chamber was destroyed in a fire in January 2022.[5] National Assembly sittings will now be held in the old Good Hope Chamber, which is within the precincts of parliament.[1][6][7]


The National Assembly seats are allocated using a proportional representation system with closed lists. Seats are first allocated according to the (integer part of the) Droop quota. Thereafter at most five seats are allocated using the largest remainder method (using the Droop quota). Any additional seats are allocated amongst the parties who then already have seats using the highest averages method.

Voters have one vote at elections to the National Assembly. Seats are allocated in ten multi-member constituencies via party lists. One constituency is a national or 'at large' constituency and nine others represent each of the nine provinces. The lists were called the national lists and regional lists in the 2009 election. 'Regional' was used to avoid confusion with the provincial legislature elections held at the same time. Previously they were called 'National to National' and 'Provincial to National'.

Of the 400 members of the National Assembly, half are assigned to be elected from national lists and the remaining half are assigned to be elected from regional lists. Every election, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) determines the allocation of the 200 regional list seats to each province by population.

Parties decide whether they want to set up both national and regional lists or only regional lists. In the 2009 election, the Democratic Alliance (DA) chose not to use a national list. The nationwide votes entitled the DA to 67 seats, but the provincial votes amounted to only 35 seats. While normally the remaining 32 members would be drawn from the party's national list, in this case the remaining seats were distributed among the other DA regional list candidates. This resulted in the National Assembly being made up of 168 members elected on national lists and 232 members elected on regional lists.


The National Assembly was first elected in South Africa's first non-racial election in 1994 with the African National Congress (ANC) winning 252 of the 400 seats. The National Party (NP), the previous governing party, won 82 seats, and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) won 43. Under the terms of the Interim Constitution this result entitled the NP and the IFP to take part in the Government of National Unity alongside the ANC, and gave the ANC and NP the right to each nominate one Deputy President. The other parties represented in the assembly were the Freedom Front (9 seats), the Democratic Party (7 seats), the Pan Africanist Congress (5 seats), and the African Christian Democratic Party (2 seats).

In the election of 1999, the ANC won 266 seats, one short of the two-thirds majority needed to unilaterally amend the constitution. The DP expanded its representation to become the official opposition with 38 seats, while the IFP won 34. The NP, now renamed the New National Party (NNP), dropped to 28 seats, and the newly formed United Democratic Movement (UDM) won 14. Eight smaller parties also obtained seats in the assembly.

In the election of 2004 the ANC obtained 279 seats, gaining a two-thirds majority and the ability to change the constitution. The DP became the Democratic Alliance (DA) and remained the official opposition with 50 seats, while the IFP won 28 seats. The NNP was severely weakened, obtaining only 7 seats; the party was formally disbanded in 2005 with the majority of the party joining the ANC.

In the election of 2009 the ANC lost its two-thirds majority but remained the majority party with 264 seats. The DA increased its support to 67 seats, and the new Congress of the People (COPE) party, a breakaway from the ANC, obtained 30 seats. The IFP was reduced to 18 seats.

In the election of 2014 the ANC lost further seats, but remained the majority party with 249 seats. The DA increased its support to 89 seats, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a far-left breakaway from the ANC, obtained 25 seats. The IFP further reduced to 10 seats while COPE's influence was strongly reduced, only electing three MPs.

In the election of 2019 the ANC lost even more seats, but remained the majority party with a seat total of 230 seats. The Official Opposition DA declined from 89 seats to 84 seats. The EFF increased its seat total to 44 seats. The IFP managed to arrest the decline in its support and obtained 14 seats. The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) grew to 10 seats, a gain of 6 seats. Nine other parties obtained seats.

The following table shows the party composition of the National Assembly over time:

1994 election 27 April 1994 25278243925
1999 election 2 June 1999 266382834314611
2003 floor-crossing 4 April 2003 275462031347113
2004 election 14 April 2004 2795072849779
2005 floor-crossing 15 September 2005 2934723464518
2007 floor-crossing 15 September 2007 2974723464415
2009 election 22 April 2009 26467301844346
2014 election 7 May 2014 249893251064437
2019 election 8 May 2019 23084244142102410

Election results

The last election was held on 8 May 2019.

African National Congress10,026,47557.50–4.65230–19
Democratic Alliance3,622,53120.77–1.3684–5
Economic Freedom Fighters1,882,48010.80+4.4544+19
Inkatha Freedom Party588,8393.38+0.9814+4
Freedom Front Plus414,8642.38+1.4810+6
African Christian Democratic Party146,2620.84+0.274+1
United Democratic Movement78,0300.45–0.552–2
African Transformation Movement76,8300.44New2New
National Freedom Party61,2200.35–1.222–4
African Independent Congress48,1070.28–0.252–1
Congress of the People47,4610.27–0.402–1
Pan Africanist Congress32,6770.19–0.0210
Al Jama-ah31,4680.18+0.041+1
African Security Congress26,2620.15New0New
Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party24,4390.14New0New
Black First Land First19,7960.11New0New
African People's Convention19,5930.11–0.060–1
Afrikan Alliance of Social Democrats18,8340.11New0New
Capitalist Party of South Africa15,9150.09New0New
Alliance for Transformation for All14,2660.08New0New
Agang South Africa13,8560.08–0.200–2
Azanian People's Organisation12,8230.07–0.0400
Independent Civic Organisation12,3860.07–0.0100
Minority Front11,9610.07–0.0500
Democratic Liberal Congress10,6600.06New0New
Better Residents Association9,1790.05–0.0300
Forum for Service Delivery7,5640.04New0New
Front National7,1440.04+0.0100
Land Party7,0740.04New0New
African Covenant7,0190.04New0New
Patriotic Alliance6,6600.04–0.0300
African Democratic Change6,4990.04New0New
Economic Emancipation Forum6,3210.04New0New
Women Forward6,1080.04New0New
Christian Political Movement4,9800.03New0New
African Content Movement4,8410.03New0New
International Revelation Congress4,2470.02New0New
National People's Front4,0190.02New0New
African Renaissance Unity Party3,8600.02New0New
African Congress of Democrats3,7680.02New0New
South African National Congress of Traditional Authorities3,7140.02New0New
Compatriots of South Africa3,4060.02New0New
People's Revolutionary Movement2,8440.02New0New
Power of Africans Unity2,6850.02New0New
Free Democrats2,5800.01New0New
South African Maintenance and Estate Beneficiaries Association2,4450.01New0New
National People's Ambassadors1,9790.01New0New
Valid votes17,437,37998.67
Invalid/blank votes235,4721.33
Total votes17,672,851100.00
Registered voters/turnout26,756,64966.05
Source: Electoral Commission of South Africa

Current composition

PartySeats %
Democratic Alliance8421
Freedom Front Plus102.5
African Transformation Movement20.5
African Independent Congress20.5
Al Jama-ah10.25

Salaries of members of the National Assembly

Annual monetary remuneration

As of 2019, the highest earning members of the National Assembly are the Speaker of the National Assembly and the deputy president of the Republic of South Africa, who is the head of the executive government's representatives in the National Assembly. They each earn an annual salary of R2,825,470.[8][9]

The second highest earning members of the National Assembly are Members of Parliament (MP) who are also cabinet ministers. They earn an annual salary of R2,401,633

The Deputy Speaker earns an annual salary of R1,977,795. This is also the salary of deputy cabinet ministers.[8][9]

Senior MPs, such as the leader of the opposition and chief whips of each party, earn an annual salary of R1,600,467.[8][9]

MPs who chair committees earn an annual salary of R1,405,015.[8]

Leaders of minority parties earn R1,309,563.[8][9]

Regular MPs earn R1,106,940.[8][9]

Other benefits

  • 88 domestic journeys per year which can either be by air, train, bus or vehicle.
  • Transport to and from South African airports.
  • Parking at South African airports.
  • Transport of dependents.
  • Relocation costs.
  • "Tools of trade", which include mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
  • Equipment, furniture and stationery for MPs' offices inside the national assembly.
  • Personal accident insurance.
  • Accommodation at the parliamentary villages in Cape Town.
  • Daily transport to and from the villages to parliament.

According to Business Insider South Africa, SA MPs are in the top 1% earning bracket in the nation.[10] The lowest earning MP earns a monthly salary of around R92,245.[9][8] This salary comes while the average South African earned a monthly salary of around R21,432, as of September 2019[11] and the minimum wage was just R20 per hour.[12]


  1. "LOOK: Check out the National Assembly's 'new' venue [PICS]". The South African. 14 January 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  2. Felix, Jason (19 August 2021). "Axed defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is the new National Assembly Speaker". News24. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  3. Thandi Modise elected National Assembly Speaker. Retrieved on 22 May 2019
  4. Thandi Modise elected National Assembly Speaker, Tsenoli returns as her deputy. Retrieved on 22 May 2019.
  5. "LIVE | Another fire truck arrives at Parliament, National Assembly chamber 'completely gutted'". News24. Retrieved 3 January 2022.
  6. "National Assembly sittings to be held at Good Hope Chamber". Jacaranda FM. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  7. "Budget Speech to be held at Parliament's Good Hope Chamber". Independent Online. South Africa. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  8. Grant, Africa Check, Researched by Laura (29 May 2019). "How much do South African MPs earn?". The Citizen. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  9. "How much do South African members of parliament earn?". Africa Check. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  10. "Cellphones, R1-million salaries, free flights and airport parking – these are some of the perks awaiting new MPs". BusinessInsider. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  11. Staff Writer. "This is the average salary in South Africa right now". Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  12. "Employment and Labour on new National Minimum Wage rate | South African Government". Retrieved 4 October 2020.
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