SA's newly sworn-in 6th Parliament

Thursday, June 6, 2019

South Africa’s newly sworn-in sixth Parliament consists of 446 Members of Parliament (MPs), 393 in the National Assembly (NA) and 53 in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

This follows the swearing in of designated MPs on 22 and 23 May at first sittings of the NA and NCOP and Deputy President David Mabuza’s swearing in on 28 May.

Three members of the Cabinet, which President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 29 May, are not MPs. They are Parks Tau (Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs), Ebrahim Patel (Minister of Trade and Industry) and Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Deputy Minister of Social Development).

Sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution, states that the President may appoint no more than two Cabinet Ministers and no more than two deputy Ministers who are not MPs of the NA.


In the 400-member seat NA, there are three vacancies (seats which designated MPs did not fill). These arose because designated MPs, Nomvula Mokonyane, Makhosini Nkosi and Sylvia Lucas, were not sworn in to be members of the NA on 22 May.

Lucas was elected Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP on 23 May.

There are currently also four casual vacancies (vacancies arising from resignations after being sworn-in) in the NA. This is due to the recent resignations of Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, Susan Shabangu and Nomaindiya Mfeketo from Parliament.

In addition, President Rampahosa ceased being an MP when the NA elected him as President of the Republic on 22 May. The total number of vacancies and casual vacancies in the NA stands at seven.

Gender representation

Of the current 393 NA MPs, 217 (55%) are men and 177 (45%) are women. This is a marked improvement on the NA of the fifth democratic Parliament which had 168 (42.7%) women MPs.

Of the 54 designated Permanent Delegates of the NCOP, 53 were sworn in on 23 May. The outstanding Permanent Delegate is Mohammed Dangor from the Gauteng Provincial Delegation.

Currently, the NCOP Permanent Delegates comprises of 33 (61%) men and 21 (39%) women. This, also, is a marked improvement on the 19 (35.2%) women Permanent Delegates in the NCOP of the fifth democratic Parliament.

Women MPs account for 44.5% of the sixth democratic Parliament (both the NA and NCOP), an improvement of about 3% on the number of women MPs in the fifth democratic Parliament.

The fifth democratic Parliament had 187 (41.1%) women MPs and was ranked number 10 in the world in terms of women’s representation. This was out of 193 Parliaments, which the world body of Parliaments, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, surveyed.

The improvement in women MPs in both Houses of Parliament and the increase in the number of women Cabinet Ministers – 50% for the first time, will elevate the voice of this key sector of society in executive decision-making, law-making and oversight of executive action.

During the term of the fifth democratic Parliament, women made up 48.6% of Cabinet Ministers.

Youth representation

In terms of South Africa’s definition of youth (14 to 35 years old), the presence of youth MPs has also almost doubled in the sixth democratic Parliament.

A total of 51 (11%) MPs are youth, a significant improvement from the fifth democratic Parliament, which was consisted of 27 (6%) youth MPs.

Of the youth MPs in the sixth democratic Parliament, 45 are NA MPs and six are NCOP Permanent Delegates. Of the total 51 youth MPs, 22 are women and 29 are men.

Parliament’s youngest MP is 20-year-old Itumeleng Ntsube, an African National Congress member and Free State Permanent Delegate to the NCOP.

The second youngest MP is 24-year-old Sibongiseni Ngcobo, a Democratic Alliance MP in the NA. Fifteen youth MPs are younger than 31, nine men and six women.

“The increase in young public representatives in the Cabinet and Parliament will further boost the national endeavour to tackling particularly the socio-economic challenges confronting our nation’s youth,” Parliament said in a statement.

A StatsSA survey released last year showed that South Africa is mainly a young and female society. Women make up 51% of the population and 35.7% of the population is between 15 and 34 years old.

Parties represented in the NA

Political parties represented in the NA are the:

1. African National Congress (ANC) 57.50%, 230 seats

2. Democratic Alliance (DA) – 20.77%, 84 seats

3. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – 10.79%, 44 seats

4. Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) – 3.38%, 14 seats

5. Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) – 2.38%, 10 seats

6. African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) – 0.84%, 4 seats

7. United Democratic Movement (UDM) – 0.45%, 2 seats

8. African Transformation Movement (ATM) – 0.44%, 2 seats

9. Good – 0.40%, 2 seats

10. National Freedom Party (NFP) – 0.35%, 2 seats

11. African Independent Congress (AIC) – 0.28%, 2 seats

12. Congress of the People (COPE) – 0.27%, 2 seats

13. Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) – 0.19%, 1 seat

14. Al Jama’ah – 0.18%, 1 seat

Parties represented in the NCOP

First sittings of Provincial Legislatures elected the NCOP’s 54 Permanent Delegates as follows – according to provincial votes which parties secured:

  • Eastern Cape: 4 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • Free State: 3 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF, 1 from the FF Plus
  • Gauteng: 3 from the ANC, 2 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 3 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the IFP, 1 from the EFF
  • Limpopo: 4 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • Mpumalanga: 4 from the ANC, 1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • Northern Cape: 3 from the ANC, 2 from the DA, 1 from the EFF
  • North West: 3 from the ANC,1 from the DA, 1 from the EFF, 1 from the FF Plus
  • Western Cape: 3 from the DA, 2 from the ANC, 1 from the EFF