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States Parties

South Africa

South Africa produced nuclear weapons in the late 1970s but decided in 1989 to give them up and has since advocated for nuclear disarmament. It was one of the states that played a leading role in bringing about the diplomatic process towards a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons and ensuring the ultimate success of the negotiations in 2017.

20 Sep 2017
25 Feb 2019 (Ratification)
22 Jan 2021
Received 18 Feb 2021
TPNW Article 1(1) prohibitions: Compliance in 2021
(a) Develop, produce, manufacture, acquire Compliant
Test Compliant
Possess or stockpile Compliant
(b) Transfer Compliant
(c) Receive transfer or control Compliant
(d) Use Compliant
Threaten to use Compliant
(e) Assist, encourage or induce Compliant
(f) Seek or receive assistance Compliant
(g) Allow stationing, installation, deployment Compliant
TPNW voting and participation
2021 UNGA resolution on TPNW
2020 UNGA resolution on TPNW
2019 UNGA resolution on TPNW Voted yes
2018 UNGA resolution on TPNW Voted yes
Participated in TPNW negotiations Yes
Share of women in TPNW negotiations 30%
Vote on adoption of treaty text Voted yes
Adoption of TPNW (7 July 2017) Voted yes
IAEA safeguards and fissile material
Safeguards Agreement Yes
TPNW Art 3(2) deadline N/A
Small Quantities Protocol No
Additional Protocol Yes
Fissile material production facilities No
Highly enriched uranium stocks 100–1000 kg
Plutonium stocks (mil/civ) No/No
Related treaties and regimes
Party to the BWC Yes
Party to the CWC Yes
Party to the PTBT Yes
Ratified the CTBT Yes (Annex 2 state)
Party to the NPT Yes
Party to a NWFZ Yes (Pelindaba)
Member of the CD Yes

Latest developments

In a statement to the 2021 UN General Assembly's High-Level Plenary Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, the Foreign Minister of South Africa, Naledi Pandor, said: 'The TPNW is the result of an increased focus by the international community on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any nuclear weapon explosion ... The TPNW complements the objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which remains the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It should also serve as a catalyst for much overdue progress in the disarmament pillar of the NPT in fulfilment of the historic bargain between the nuclear-weapon states and the non-nuclear-weapon states.'1

In the First Committee of the 2021 UN General Assembly, South Africa said that the entry into force of the 'milestone' TPNW was 'one of the most important developments towards nuclear disarmament' since the first session of the General Assembly in 1946, and continued: 'We commit ourselves to tirelessly work towards its implementation and universalization and encourage all States that have not done so, to ratify the Treaty without further delay.'2

South Africa was also one of the co-sponsors of the 2021 UN General Assembly resolution on the TPNW, which called 'upon all States that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Treaty at the earliest possible date'.3


  • South Africa should continue to encourage other states to adhere to the TPNW.
  • South Africa should ensure that all the TPNW obligations are implemented domestically, through legal, administrative, and other necessary measures.
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