Parliament has appointed a company to look into the socio-economic
impact of relocating the legislature from Cape Town.
Parliament’s secretary, Gengezi Mgidlana, revealed this development
today when responding to queries from MPs during a presentation to a joint
standing committee on the Financial Management of Parliament.
The company, which Mgidlana did not name, would take between three
to six months to complete its analysis.
“Nobody has done a study of the socio-economic benefits of
parliament’s location in Cape Town against the benefit of parliament being moved
“No scientific study has been done to look at the full impact. Once
done, parliament will be ready to engage on a more educated basis,” said
This socio-economic analysis is in addition to a revised costing
analysis that parliament had done after president Jacob Zuma, in his state of
the nation address last year, instructed it to kickstart the investigation of
relocating parliament to Pretoria in order to cut down on “wasteful
The double up on costs by having the administrative capital in
Pretoria and the legislative capital in Cape Town was too high to maintain, he
said at the time.
Zuma did not raise the relocation issue in his State of the Nation
Address this year.
Mgidlana said that the costing analysis – which updated figures
from an earlier report - and the socio-economic study together would cost around
When the socio-economic report was completed, parliament would be
able to engage with the Department of Public Works and Treasury using credible
data at their disposal to ensure proper decision-making, he said.
Responding afterwards, DA MP Mike Waters said it appeared that
there was no longer any urgency to get the ball rolling. “I think the plan will
die now that the DA controls Tshwane after the local elections last May,” he
IFP MP Narend Singh said that when the president announced the
possibility of relocating in his previous State of the nation address, it was a
“knee jerk reaction”.
“The possibility of moving will keep emerging, so we need to work
out if it is viable to move. We are keeping an open mind. It all depends on the
studies. They need to be done. It is important to do the exercise, and take it
In October last year, Zuma told the National Council of Provinces
that the Department of Public Works had been asked to investigate the merits of
An interdepartmental task team, comprising government departments
that contribute to the optimal functioning of Parliament, was also constituted,
according to a report in City Press.
These included National Treasury which was looking at financial and
budgetary implications and the Department of Justice and Constitutional
Development which was focusing on the legislative requirements and
Zuma said the Department of Public Service and Administration was
looking into the administrative and human capital implications, while the
Transport department looks at the logistics and transport implications.
departments involved were the police and the Department of Labour.
Cosatu economists estimated after Zuma’s address last year that
relocation would cost R7 billion, but would bring a saving of around R500m to
R750m a year.