Ceremonial Symbols

maceThe Mace is a symbol of authority of the Speaker of the
National Assembly. When the Sergeant-at-arms carries the Mace
into the debating chamber, and places it before the Speaker of
Parliament, it means that the National Assembly is
formally in session and that its proceedings are official.
The Mace was designed to reflect the history, traditions,
and diverse cultures and languages of South Africa. The
design also celebrates the country’s natural beauty, its plant
and animal life and it rich mineral resources.
•The shape of the mace recalls the knobkerrie, an African
symbol of defence as well as authority and leadership.
•Gold symbolises not only our country’s natural wealth, but
also the indigenous knowledge of Africa and the ancient
African gold mining traditions of Mapungubwe.


black rodThe Black Rod is the symbol of the authority of the
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The
Black Rod reflects the important role of the provinces in the functioning
of the NCOP.
The shape of the new Black Rod is in the form of a knobkierie,
an African symbol of defence, of authority and leadership.
The protea, at the head of the Black Rod, is South
Africa’s National flower, and symbolises national pride.
The beadwork reflects on South Africa’s diverse people and
its rich cultural heritage. The clasping hands in gold symbolises
freedom, peace and cooperation. The black rod
stands in a drum when the council is in session. The drum
is an expression of the African tradition of drums
calling people to gather and speak. It is also symbolic of
our achievement of democracy through dialogue.