South Africa is a parliamentary representative democratic republic, wherein the elected president exercises executive power and acts as both head of state and head of government. Legislative power is wielded by both the government and two chambers of parliament, the National Assembly (the lower house) and the Council of Provinces (the upper house). The judiciary operates as an independent arm of government. South Africa is a multi-party democracy with about 80 political parties, 13 of which are currently represented in the National Assembly. The ANC has dominated the electoral landscape since the first democratic elections of 1994, while the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the country’s official opposition party, with 67 seats in the current parliament.
This chapter contains interviews with President Jacob Zuma; Fernando Damata Pimentel, Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade; and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development.