Plans to move Parliament from Cape Town to Pretoria are back on the agenda.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says that work on the study will start this month and that she expects a report in six months time.

A consulting firm has been contracted to carry out a feasibility study on the impact of its relocation.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says that work on the study will start this month and that she expects a report in six months time.

She was speaking while tabling Parliament’s budget on Tuesday.

The decision to base Parliament in Cape Town dates back to the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, when the seat of government became Pretoria and Bloemfontein the judicial capital.

Mbete says consulting firm Pamoja (Pty) Ltd will carry out the latest study on the feasibility of moving Parliament to Pretoria.

Senior ANC MP Vincent Smith says the costs of two capitals can’t be justified.

The apartheid arrangement that arises from having the executive capital 1,000km away from the legislative capital has huge implications for the National Revenue Fund.

“Departmental officials and members of the executive are commuting between the two capitals at huge financial cost, sometimes for engagements that last less than four hours. This status quo can no longer be justified.”

“In light of this reality, I believe that our contribution as this Parliament towards directly saving costs in the long term must include advice to the next Parliament to embark on the programme of relocating this institution.”

It’s unclear what became of a report by a team of ministers tasked by former president Jacob Zuma to look into the matter. Studies in 1995, 1997 and 2011 all reportedly indicated that the cost of moving Parliament would be less, over the long term, than retaining the status quo.


Leave a Reply