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South Africa South Africa

South Africa

States with nuclear-free security strategies

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 at the forefront of the diplomatic process towards a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, including during the negotiation of the TPNW in 2017. South Africa has signed and ratified the TPNW and is in compliance with all of the prohibitions in Article 1 of the Treaty.

Latest developments and background

On 16–17 August 2018, South Africa and ICAN co-hosted a regional workshop in Pretoria, to promote adherence to the TPNW ( Speaking in the UN on 26 September 2019, South Africa said it was pleased to be among the first 25 member states of the TPNW. It urged all states that have not signed the TPNW to do so as soon as possible, and added: “South Africa reaffirms our view that the TPNW is a bold and positive step towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons as it strengthens the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty." (


  • South Africa should continue to encourage other states to adhere to the TPNW.
  • South Africa should ensure that all the TPNW obligations are implemented into national law.
Yes (20 Sep 2017)
Ratified (25 Feb 2019)
Compliance with article 1(1) of the TPNW
Art 1(1)(a) The prohibition on developing, producing, manufacturing, or otherwise acquiring Compliant
The prohibition on testing Compliant
The prohibition on possessing or stockpiling Compliant
Art 1(1)(b) The prohibition on transferring Compliant
Art 1(1)(c) The prohibition on receiving transfer or control Compliant
Art 1(1)(d) The prohibition on using Compliant
The prohibition on threatening to use Compliant
Art 1(1)(e) The prohibition on assisting prohibited activities Compliant
The prohibition on encouraging or inducing prohibited activities Compliant
Art 1(1)(f) The prohibition on encouraging or inducing prohibited activities Compliant
Art 1(1)(g) The prohibition on allowing stationing, installation, or deployment Compliant
TPNW process
Vote on mandate resolution (A/RES/71/258) Voted yes
Participated in treaty negotiations (% women) Yes (30%)
Vote on adoption of treaty text Voted yes
Vote on UNGA resolution 2018 Voted yes
Fissile material
Highly enriched uranium stocks <1 t (~35 weapon equivalents)
Civilian plutonium stocks
Fissile material production No
Related treaties and mechanisms
Party to the NPT Yes
Party to a NWFZ Yes (Pelindaba)
Ratified the CTBT Yes (Annex 2 state)
Party to the PTBT Yes
Member of the CD Yes
IAEA CSA in force Yes
IAEA AP in force Yes
Party to the CWC Yes
Party to the BWC Yes