n Journal of Public Administration - Emergent federalisation of the state in South Africa?

Special issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The purpose of this article is to reflect on the question whether the South African form of state has developed some distinct federal characteristics since its restructuring and democratisation in April 1994. In order to do this; the author makes some brief comments on his understanding of the concept of the federal state as well as the conceptual framework of federalism. He then continues to analyse the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to determine its formal federal characteristics. Having done this, the idea of federalism the public administration and politics in South Africa is examined. The article closes with some findings regarding federalism in the present South African body politic. The main finding is that whilst the constitution is a species of federal constitution, governance and political practice in South Africa is mainly centralist.

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