President of South Africa

The president of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government of the Republic of South Africa. The president directs the executive branch of the government and is the commander-in-chief of the South African National Defence Force.

President of the
Republic of South Africa
10 other official names:
  • Umongameli waseNingizimu Afrika  (Zulu)
  • uMongameli waseMzantsi Afrika  (Xhosa)
  • President van Suid-Afrika  (Afrikaans)
  • Mopresidente wa Afrika Borwa  (Northern Sotho)
  • Moporesitente wa Aforika Borwa  (Tswana)
  • Mopresident wa Afrika Borwa  (Sotho)
  • Puresidente wa Afrika-Dzonga  (Tsonga)
  • uMengameli weleNingizimu Afrika  (Swazi)
  • Muphuresidennde wa Afrika Tshipembe  (Venda)
  • uMongameli weSewula Afrika  (Southern Ndebele)
Seal of the President of South Africa
Cyril Ramaphosa

since 15 February 2018
TypeHead of state
Head of government
ResidenceMahlamba Ndlopfu (Pretoria)
Genadendal (Cape Town)
Dr. John L. Dube House (Durban)
AppointerNational Assembly of South Africa
Term length5 years
renewable once
PrecursorState president
Formation10 May 1994; 27 years ago (1994-05-10)
First holderNelson Mandela
DeputyDeputy President of South Africa
SalaryR 3,900,000 ($ 265,020) annually[1]

From 1961–94, the head of state was called the state president.

The president is elected by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, and is usually the leader of the largest party, which has been the African National Congress since the first multiracial election was held on 27 April 1994. The Constitution limits the president's time in office to two five-year terms.[2] The first president to be elected under the new constitution was Nelson Mandela. The incumbent is Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected by the National Assembly on 15 February 2018 following the resignation of Jacob Zuma.

Under the interim constitution (valid from 1994–96), there was a Government of National Unity, in which a member of Parliament (MP) from the largest opposition party was entitled to a position as deputy president. Along with Thabo Mbeki, the last state president, F. W. de Klerk also served as deputy president, in his capacity as the leader of the National Party which was the second-largest party in the new Parliament. But De Klerk later resigned and went into opposition with his party. A voluntary coalition government continues to exist under the new constitution (adopted in 1996), although there have been no appointments of opposition politicians to the post of deputy president since.

The president is required to be a member of the National Assembly at the time of his election. Upon his election, he immediately resigns his seat for the duration of his term. The president may be removed either by a motion of no-confidence or an impeachment trial.