The constitutional mandate of the premier is derived from section 125 of the Constitution (Act No 108 of 1996). This section provides the premier and executive council the authority over the province by:
- Implementing provincial legislation in the province
- Implementing all national legislation within the functional areas listed in Schedule 4 or 5 except where the Constitution or an Act of Parliament provides otherwise;
- Administering in the province, national legislation outside the functional areas listed in Schedules 4 and 5, the administration of which has been assigned to the provincial executive in terms of an Act of Parliament;
- Developing and implementing provincial policy;
- Co-ordinating the functions of the provincial administration and its departments;
- Preparing and initiating provincial legislation and
- Performing any other function assigned to the provincial executive in terms of the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.
A province has executive authority in terms of subsection (2) (b) only to the extent that the province has the administrative capacity to assume effective responsibility. The national government, by legislative and other measures, must assist provinces to develop the administrative capacity required for the effective exercise of their powers and performance of their functions referred to in subsection (2). Any dispute concerning the administrative capacity of a province in regard to any function must be referred to the National Council of Provinces for resolution within 30 days of the date of the referral to the Council. Subject to section 100, the implementation of provincial legislation in a province is an exclusive provincial executive power. The provincial executive must act in accordance with the Constitution; and the provincial constitution, if a constitution has been passed for the province.