POLL | Should parliament be relocated to Tshwane?

03 January 2022 - 12:49
By Cebelihle Bhengu
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi called for parliament to be moved to Tshwane.
Image: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi called for parliament to be moved to Tshwane.

As South Africans reeled from the fire that gutted parts of parliament on Sunday morning, the EFF said funds that would be used for repairing the damage should be channelled to relocating it to Tshwane. 

The party said keeping parliament in Cape Town was “maintaining the pact of the British and Afrikaner settlers”. 

“To maintain this colonial pact of how we organise our society is nothing but a betrayal of African people and a reaffirmation that white racist spatial and political planning still overdetermines our lives in this country,” the party said.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu said keeping parliament in Cape Town was illogical, while MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the parliamentary building should be turned into a museum.

We all should agree that instead of repairing this colonial establishment parliament must be relocated to a central and easily accessible area where the administrative capital is. Keeping parliament in Cape Town is plainly illogical! The pillar is one capital city!," Shivambu wrote in a tweet.

The EFF's proposal was met with concern by many who questioned the financial, infrastructure, employment and constitutional implications of such a move.

The party has long called for the relocation of parliament. In 2019, the EFF's Leigh-Ann Mathys asked in a written parliamentary question what the status of moving parliament to Tshwane was.

Former public works minister Thulas Nxesi told Mathys the task to move parliament was primarily the responsibility of parliament and his department would play a supporting role. 

Possible construction sites in Tshwane have been identified, but cannot be confirmed until such time that parliament's accommodation requirements have been signed off by the secretary to parliament.

“But, for this to happen parliament must give guidance and take the decision to move the parliamentary precinct away from Cape Town and also legally pronounce Tshwane as the seat of parliament by way of proposing a constitutional amendment on Tshwane as the new legislative capital of the Republic of SA,” said Nxesi.