Founding Provisions

Preamble

We, the people of South Africa,

Recognise the injustices of our past;

Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and

Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to ­:
  • Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
  • Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
  • Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and
  • Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
Section 1. Republic of South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values:
1. Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.
2. Non-racialism and non-sexism.
3. Supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.
4. Universal adult suffrage, a national common voters roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government, to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness.

Section 2. Supremacy of Constitution
This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic; law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled.

Section 3. Citizenship
1. There is a common South African citizenship.
2. All citizens are ­
  1. equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; and
  2. equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
3. National legislation must provide for the acquisition, loss and restoration of citizenship.

Section 4. National anthem
The national anthem of the Republic is determined by the President by proclamation.

Section 5. National flag
The national flag of the Republic is black, gold, green, white, red and blue, as described and sketched in Schedule 1.

Section 6. Languages
1. The official languages of the Republic are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
2. Recognising the historically diminished use and status of the indigenous languages of our people, the state must take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages.
3.         
  1. The national government and provincial governments may use any particular official languages for the purposes of government, taking into account usage, practicality, expense, regional circumstances and the balance of the needs and preferences of the population as a whole or in the province concerned; but the national government and each provincial government must use at least two official languages.
  2. Municipalities must take into account the language usage and preferences of their residents.
4. The national government and provincial governments, by legislative and other measures, must regulate and monitor their use of official languages. Without detracting from the provisions of subsection (2), all official languages must enjoy parity of esteem and must be treated equitably.
5. A Pan South African Language Board established by national legislation must ­
  1. promote, and create conditions for, the development and use of ­
    • all official languages;
    • the Khoi, Nama and San languages; and
    • sign language ; and
  2. promote and ensure respect for ­
    • all languages commonly used by communities in South Africa, including German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu; and
    • Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit and other languages used for religious purposes in South Africa.