Ceremonial symbols

Order Description

The 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.

The 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.