South Africa is a multiparty republic in which power is shared by the president and the Parliament.
The lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly, consists of 350 to 400 members who are elected by popular vote to serve 5-year terms.
The upper house, the National Council of Provinces, has 90 members with 10 members elected by each of the nine provincial legislatures for five-year terms.
The president, chosen by the National Assembly from among its members, is the head of state and government. He/She is usually the leader of the largest party.
The President is the also commander-in-chief of the armed forces, declares war or peace and appoints the Cabinet.