Zuma: Cabinet still keen on moving Parliament to Pretoria

2016-10-25 17:31

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma says members of the executive are still keen on moving Parliament to Pretoria in order to cut costs.

Zuma was answering a question from IFP MP Mntomuhle Khawula in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday.

He said the proposed move from Cape Town to the capital is still definitely on the agenda, and various government departments are analysing the costs and logistics involved.

Zuma said the preliminary analysis continues to point at the same conclusions as studies conducted in 1995, 1997 and 2011.

"These indicated that in the long term, the cost to relocate Parliament will be significantly less than maintaining the status quo.

"The negative impact includes the potential loss of income for the City of Cape Town, as well as job losses in the finance sector in providing services to Parliament," Zuma argued.

Should Parliament be relocated to Pretoria, a significant portion of redundant state-owned properties could be appropriately used to accommodate various other government departments, he said.

Fees crisis, "bloated" Cabinet

In supplementary questions, Khawula pressed Zuma, saying other financial matters should be considered first and that Zuma should start with his "bloated Cabinet" if he wants to cut costs.

DA MP Cathlene Labuschagne said the ongoing university fees crisis was a much bigger priority, and the executive should focus on finding funds to resolve that first.

ANC MPs could be heard murmuring "no" as she spoke.

"The space here [in Cape Town] is just not enough. We have to allocate meetings off site," Zuma responded.

Departments currently looking at the proposal as part of the presidential task team include the departments of transport, labour, public works and the South African Police Service.

"National Treasury is looking at the budgetary implications. The department of justice is focusing on the legislative requirements," he continued.

"The departments of public service and administration is looking into admin and human capital implications.

"Also being looked at are the needs of Parliament and space requirements for residential accommodation for MPs and office bearers."

He said the decision on the move was ultimately for Parliament to make, but that Cabinet would try to persuade the two Houses of the wasteful expenditure in keeping Parliament in Cape Town.

House chairperson Thandi Modise said herself and Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete support the suggestion of moving Parliament, but are yet to receive the presidential task team's report.

They will consider the report once it is delivered to Parliament.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  parliament 2016

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