Internal auditing plays an important role in any country's public sector. South Africa is no exception and the role of internal auditing in the South African public sector has come to the fore in recent years. This article considers the extent to which the elements and key process areas identified by the Institute of Internal Auditors' internal audit capability model are addressed by applicable South African public sector legislation and guidance. The internal audit capability model comprises a comprehensive international guide to assist any public organisation's internal audit function to measure its capability in terms of the Institute of Internal Auditors' six elements of internal auditing. A literature review was conducted to consider the inclusion of the key process areas within the six elements of the internal audit capability model to the most prominent applicable South African legislation and guidance. The results of this research may assist the South African government to identify the significant shortcomings in legislation and guidance as it relates to internal auditing. The study, as presented in this article, found that although most of the elements of the internal audit capability model are addressed to some extent by South African legislation and guidance, significant shortcomings still exist, especially on the higher capability levels of the model.