Union of South African States
Union of South African States flag.png
Union of South African States map.png
Motto Strength in Diversity
Formation 18 August 2002
Type Confederation
Purpose/focus Political, social and economic cooperation.
Headquarters Jan C. Smuts International Center, Cape Town, Cape Province
Membership 23 nations (de jure)
Official languages English (official)
Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa (secondary)
Union Chairman Cobus Grobler

The Union of South African States (USAS, Afrikaans: Unie van Suid-Afrikaanse State) is a political confederation occupying what is internationally recognized as the Republic of South Africa. The Union is officially a voluntary confederation or close alliance of twenty three independent nations centered around South Africa which exists for social, economic and political cooperation. The Union is not recognized by most nations outside of the Union itself, and is seen as an attempt at legitimizing the oppressive Apartheid ("Separate Development") ideology of the ruling Conservative Party and Afrikaner elite. Nations which do recognize the Union, such as Mozambique, do so nominally.

The Union was established with the South Africa Treaty (SAT) on 18 August 2002 in response to the establishment of the African Union, which denied the Republic or any of the homelands (which are de jure independent states) entry into the continental alliance. The African Union allowed Lesotho and Swaziland - which never formed part of what is the Republic of South Africa - to join but condemned their participation in the USAS. Lesotho and Swaziland, which are more independent from South Africa proper in relative comparison to the homelands have been economically dependent on their Afrikaner controlled neighbor for decades, which essentially forced them to join the USAS.


South Africa Treaty (SAT)



The various parties to this Treaty, in the pursuit of equal relations based around separate development are committed to cooperate in the safeguarding of common freedom, the rule of law, economic prosperity and social structure. They therefore resolve to concentrate their collective resources and efforts to achieve these goals and others. This South Africa Treaty is therefore agreed upon and enacted -

Article 1

1. This Treaty hereby establishes the Union of South African States which shall be collective forum for the parties to engage, deliberate and cooperate.
2. The parties, through their mutually recognized democratic governments, shall choose one representative from any background to serve in the Union Council.
3. The Union Council in plenary session shall be policy making and policy enforcement arm of the Union.
4. The Union Council shall at its first sitting of every fifth year elect from its own membership a Union Chairman, who shall administer the Union on a daily basis and act as the general functionary of the Union Council.

Article 2

5. The parties shall be committed to peaceful and friendly relations with one another and other foreign states.
6. The parties shall be committed to eliminating armed conflict within their territories and shall mutually assist one another in the elimination of conflict throughout Union territory.
7. In effort to achieve propriety, the parties shall develop jointly and separately the capacity to exist independently of other states or parties, and aim to gradually minimize monetary aid from without their states.
8. The parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.
9. The parties agree that an armed attack against any of them will be considered an attack on the Union as a whole, and consequently to that, each undertakes to assist the party or parties under attack militarily, to their own capacity.
10. The parties undertake to, in their separate international engagements, not undermine the interests of other parties to this Treaty.
11. The Union Council shall adopt policies to further the provisions and aims of this Treaty and may adopt nothing in contradiction with such provisions. Policies enacted by half of the parties plus one shall have nonbinding and voluntary authority and effect. Policies enacted by seventy five percent of the parties shall have binding authority and effect.

Article 3

12. The parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any state considered to exist within the geopolitical region of Southern Africa to join the Union. Any state wishing the join of its own accord shall submit an application to the Union Council for consideration.
13. The provisions of this Treaty and any measures subsequently adopted by the Union Council shall be implemented and made effective by the parties in accordance with their respective administrative or constitutional processes. The Treaty shall enter into force seven days after its signing by the first Union Chairman.
14. The parties shall every ten years deliberate and consult together for the purpose of reviewing the Treaty and its provisions.
15. This Treaty, of which only the English text is authentic, shall be deposited for safekeeping in the archive of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the Republic of South Africa, which shall have the authority to certify any copies to be transmitted to the other parties' archives.


Nation Council representative
Old South Africa flag South Africa State President J.D. Grobler (Union Chairman)
Flag of Bophuthatswana Bophuthatswana President Fairchance Madingoane
Flag of Bushmanland Bushmanland Chief Pieter Koma
Flag of Ciskei Ciskei Chief Minister Joshua Oupa Gqozo
Flag of Damaraland Damaraland Executive Council Chairman James ǀGoagoseb
Flag of Gazankulu Gazankulu Chief Minister Richard Mdabula
Flag of Hereroland Hereroland Executive Council Chairman Clemens Hutako
Union of South African States flag KaNgwane Chief Minister Mphandlana Jele
Union of South African States flag Kaokoland Chief Minister Stephen Nakatana
Flag of Kavangoland Kavangoland Executive Council Chairman Usko Shivute
Flag of KwaNdebele KwaNdebele Prince George Mahlangu, Chief Minister
Flag of KwaZulu KwaZulu Prince Nkululeko Dhlomo, Chief Minister
Flag of Lebowa Lebowa Prime Minister Maurice Seleka
Flag of Lesotho Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane
Flag of Lozi Lozi Executive Council Chairman Peter Mamili
Flag of Namaland Namaland Executive Council Chairman Josef Morenga
Flag of Ovamboland Ovamboland Executive Council Chairman Daniel Uukule
Flag of QwaQwa QwaQwa Chief Minister Desmond Mokitimi
Flag of Rehoboth Rehoboth Executive Council Chairman Herman Chase
Flag of Swaziland Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini
Union of South African States flag Tswanaland Executive Authority Chairman Robert Kgosiemang
Flag of Transkei Transkei Chief Minister Bonginkosi Mantyi
Flag of Venda Venda State President John N'dou


Union Council

The Union Council is the highest policy making and enforcement organ of the USAS and is led by the Union Chairman who is elected by and from the Council itself. Resolutions adopted by the Council are binding upon all member states as if it were national law. A member state may opt out of certain resolutions with sufficient rationale and the approval of the majority of the Council.

Public Works and Housing Commission

The Public Works and Housing Commission (PWHC) was established by the Council by the Public Works and Housing Resolution, 2006 to chiefly construct low cost housing for rural and generally poor communities throughout the Union. Spearheaded by the South African government's Department of Infrastructure and Public Works, the PWHC's largest projects are currently largely based around the urban capitals of the Transkei and Bophuthatswana. The aim of the Commission is stated to be a hastening of South Africa's Separate Development ("Apartheid") policy, i.e. repatriating black 'residents' from white South Africa to their respective homelands. The Commission is also intended to create jobs for the millions of unemployed and uneducated workers throughout the homelands. In an effort to stop the "migrant worker" issue which has undermined the Apartheid policy, workers are required to work inside their own homeland, with limited exceptions.

See also