Constitution of the Western Cape, 1997/Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Founding Provisions

Province of the Western Cape


The Western Cape is a Province of the Republic of South Africa as established by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

Boundaries of Province


The boundaries of the Western Cape are determined by the national Constitution.

Adoption, status and interpretation of this Constitution



This Constitution is adopted for the Western Cape in terms of the national Constitution, the supreme law of the Republic of South Africa.


The legislative and executive powers and functions of the Western Cape recorded in this Constitution emanate exclusively from the national Constitution.


The provisions of this Constitution must not be interpreted as conferring any legislative or executive authority on the Western Cape which is inconsistent with the national Constitution.


In the event of an inconsistency between different texts of this Constitution, the English text prevails.

Application of this Constitution


This Constitution applies to the Western Cape. Subject to the national Constitution, it is the highest law in the Western Cape, and the obligations imposed by it must be performed diligently and without delay.




For the purposes of provincial government—


the official languages Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa are to be used; and


these languages enjoy equal status.


The Western Cape government must through legislative and other measures, regulate and monitor its use of Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa.


The Western Cape government must take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of those indigenous languages of the people of the Western Cape whose status and use have been historically diminished.

Provincial symbols and honours



A provincial Act may provide for—


provincial symbols;


the conferral of provincial honours.


A provincial Bill to provide for provincial symbols must be passed by the Provincial Parliament with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of its members.