Home News Julius Malema pushes for relocation of Parliament to Tshwane

Julius Malema pushes for relocation of Parliament to Tshwane

Julius Malema pushes for relocation of Parliament to Tshwane

Cape Town – EFF leader Julius Malema has delivered on his promise to table a private member’s bill that provides for the relocation of Parliament from Cape Town to Tshwane.

In May, Malema gave notice that he intended to introduce the Relocation of Parliament Bill during the second quarter of the 2022-23 financial year.

The bill finally made its way to Parliament last week.

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Friday the bill had been introduced and referred to the joint tagging mechanism for classification to determine whether it affected provinces or not.

“The bill may only be classified after the expiry of at least three parliamentary working days since introduction,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.

She had a day earlier referred the bill to the portfolio committee on public works and infrastructure for information purposes.

The relocation of Parliament has been on the radar since as far back as 2016 when former president Jacob Zuma said the government could save billions if it did not have to fly and accommodate government officials and politicians from the administrative capital in Pretoria to Cape Town, the countrys legislative capital.

In May 2018, former National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that service provider Pamoja (Pty) Ltd had been appointed to conduct a six-month socio-economic impact study on the issue.

In April 2019, former public works minister Thulas Nxesi had indicated that his then department had identified the possible construction sites for the relocation of Parliament to Tshwane.

The EFF resuscitated the matter when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and pushed for the feasibility study to be released earlier this year in preparation for its private member’s bill.

In his bill, Malema said the Constitution provided that the seat of Parliament was Cape Town, but an act could be enacted to determine that the seat be elsewhere.

Malema said Parliament’s current location created several problems for MPs, the Cabinet, government and officials from organs of state and the broader society that wished to participate in legislative and oversight functions performed by the national legislature.

“Parliament is located in the farthest province from the majority of provinces.

‘This makes it inaccessible to the majority of South Africans, including MPs, who spend a significant amount of time travelling to and from Parliament,” he said.

Malema said the relocation of Parliament would alleviate the financial burden on the national fiscus and bring the national legislature closer to the majority of the people.

The bill’s memorandum said public participation in parliamentary programmes was limited to individuals and institutions with financial resources, excluding those unable to travel to Cape Town.

“As a result, Parliament and the government spend a lot of money on travel and lodging for members of Parliament, the executive, the government, and state officials in order to keep colonial agreements that separate the administrative and legislative capital in two cities by racist colonisers who excluded the majority of black people and still do so today.”

The memo said the Cabinet was expected to spend more than R8 billion on expenditures associated with attending legislative sessions (plane travel, hotel, car hire/shuttles), travel time, dependants’ travel, departmental support, and annual operational costs of ministerial houses.

“This is an extremely low estimate,” reads the document.

It also said the parliamentary precinct was made up of historic structures that required regular maintenance and traditional maintenance practices that could not be used with innovative maintenance technologies.

The document said it was expected that Parliament would spend no less than R4.2 billion on precinct renovation and refurbishment.

According to the document, this amount was estimated for refurbishment and renovation in May 2019, and the Department of Public Works had put the figure at R2 billion.

“It will cost at least R14 billion to retain Parliament in Cape Town.

A new Parliament precinct in the City of Tshwane is estimated to require R7 billion, and the move will save the fiscus more than R7 billion in the short to medium term,” the memo said.

Cape Times

Original Article