What is the Executive?

In this video we look at the executive branch of government, its responsibility, and tasks.

Democracies are characterised by the separation of functions and powers between the three branches of government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Each branch checks the power of the other two so that there is a balance of power between them.

The executive branch of government is responsible for the daily administration of a country. That is why we often refer to the executive as ‘the government’. It carries out its own policies, implements the laws passed by the legislature and ensures that decisions of the judiciary are implemented.

The executive operates at three levels of government: the national, provincial and local level. All of these levels of government have executive authority in their own spheres.

The national executive is made up of the Cabinet, which includes the President, the Deputy President and the Ministers of each government department. Deputy Ministers are not part of the Cabinet, but they are also part of the executive.
Within the balance of powers, the executive is accountable to, and is monitored by the legislature and is subject to the decisions of the judiciary.