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States Parties

South Africa

State with nuclear-free security policy

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 is a state party to the TPNW from 22 January 2021 and is in compliance with all of the prohibitions in Article 1 of the Treaty.

TPNW status
Signed (20 Sept 2017) and ratified (25 Feb 2019)
Compliance with prohibitions in TPNW Article 1(1)
Art 1(1)(a) Develop, produce, manufacture, acquire Compliant
Test Compliant
Possess or stockpile Compliant
Art 1(1)(b) Transfer Compliant
Art 1(1)(c) Receive transfer or control Compliant
Art 1(1)(d) Use Compliant
Threaten to use Compliant
Art 1(1)(e) Assist, encourage or induce Compliant
Art 1(1)(f) Seek or receive assistance Compliant
Art 1(1)(g) Allow stationing, installation, deployment Compliant
TPNW voting and participation
Vote on negotiation mandate (A/RES/71/258) Voted yes
Participated in treaty negotiations (% women) Yes (30%)
Vote on adoption of treaty text Voted yes
Last vote on UNGA resolution Voted yes
Fissile material
Fissile material production facilities No
Highly enriched uranium stocks 100–1,000 kg
Plutonium stocks (military/civilian) No/No
Related treaties and regimes
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

Latest developments

In First Committee of the 2020 UN General Assembly, South Africa said that 'The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is an historic milestone for nuclear disarmament in that it shares with the NPT the core goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons. As we stated before, the two Treaties are fully compatible and indeed complimentary. We are encouraged that the TPNW is fast approaching the 50 ratifications needed to enter-into-force and encourage States that have not done so, to sign and ratify the Treaty. See: bit.ly/3m1sIPW.

Recommendations

  • 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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