Cape of Good Hope

  • Frederick Martin
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The present form of government of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope was established in the year 1852. By Letters Patent, dated 23rd May, 1850, the Governor and Council were empowered to enact ordinances for the establishment of a Representative Government; two years later the present constitution was brought into force. It vests the executive in the Governor and an Executive Council, composed of certain office-holders appointed by the Crown. The legislative power rests with a Legislative Council of 15 elected members, presided over ex officio by the Chief-justice, and a House of Assembly of 46 elected members, representing the country districts and towns of the colony. There is an election at the end of every five years for the Council, when eight and seven members are elected alternately. The qualification for members is possession of immovable property of 2,000l., or movable property worth 4,000l. With the exception of paid office-holders, and others specified in the Order in Council, any person may be elected a member of Assembly. Members of both houses are elected by the same voters, who are qualified by possession of property, of receipt of salary or wages, ranging between 25l. and 50l. per annum. The colonial secretary, the attorney-general; the treasurer-general, and the auditor-general, who are members of the Executive Council, can take part in the debates of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly; they can introduce new measures, but cannot vote in either House.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1868

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Martin

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