With the dawn of democracy in 1994, and the adoption of a new final constitution in1996, a provision was made for an Office of the President, which later became known as The Presidency. Under previous dispensations, the head of government in South Africa were Prime Ministers and State Presidents.
As the executive manager of government The Presidency is at the apex of the system of government in the Republic of South Africa. The Presidency is situated in the Union Buildings, Pretoria, and has another subsidiary office in Tuynhuys, Cape Town.
The Presidency’s key role in the executive management and co-ordination of Government lies in its responsibility to organize governance. In this regard, a key aim is the facilitation of an integrated and co-ordinated approach to governance. This is being achieved through creative, cross-sectoral thinking on policy issues and the enhancement of the alignment of sectoral priorities with the national strategic policy framework and other Government priorities.
The Presidency comprises of five political principals: The President, who is the Head of State and Government, The Deputy President, who is the Leader of Government Business (in Parliament), the Minister of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration, the Minister of Women, and the Deputy Minister for Planning, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The Presidency has three structures which support governance operations directly: they are the Cabinet Office; Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services (PCAS); and Legal and Executive Services.
The Cabinet Office provides administrative support to Cabinet. It implements administrative systems and processes to ensure the overall optimal functioning of the Cabinet and its committees. It also facilitates the management of decision-making processes of the Cabinet and its Committees.
PCAS comprises a Deputy Director-General and five Chief Directorates, which support policy processes developed by respective clusters of Directors-General.
The Legal and Executive Services unit of The Presidency provides legal advice to The President, Deputy President, the Minister, as well as The Presidency as a whole, and is responsible for all litigation involving the political principals.