Provincial Government

Premier Helen Zille

Every province has its own government. Provincial governments are elected every five years during the same time as the national elections.  These governments are made up of between 30 and 90 members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs). Every provincial government has to pass an annual provincial budget in order for them to have enough money to spend on services.

The Premier is elected by the provincial government, and decides who will become Members of the Executive Council (MECs). MECs act as political representatives for the different governmental departments. They also form part of the Cabinet. MECs, along with the Department of Local Government, have to support and monitor all the different municipalities within the provinces.

The Director General is the main person in charge of the work of provincial government. The different governmental departments are led by Deputy Director Generals (DDGs) or have a Head of Department (HODs). Directors work for DDGs or HODs. Public servants like teachers and nurses fall under provincial government as well.

Provincial governments have plans in place so that they can develop their respective regions properly. These are called the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) and the Spatial Development Framework (SDF). The PGDS outlines how to improve a province's economy and better its services. The SDF chooses the best places where houses or businesses can be built but also explains the best way to protect the environment.

There are usually at least 12 departments in each of the provincial departments throughout the country. Some departments have different names in different provinces. The following is a list of some of the different departments that can be found in most of the provinces:

  • Housing/ Human Settlements
  • Economic Development
  • Public Works
  • Agriculture
  • Health
  • Education
  • Transport
  • Social Development

Some provinces combine a number of different departments to form one.

Western Cape is the official website of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape.

Page Updated: 27 May 2014