18 April 2019 - NW817
Mathys, Ms L to ask the Minister of Public Works
What is the current status on the possibility of moving Parliament to Pretoria?
The Honourable Member should note that the project to relocate or move Parliament from its current seat in Cape Town is primarily the responsibility of Parliament, with the Department of Public Works playing a supporting role.
In this respect Parliament is responsible for the following:
- Developing the business case for the relocation of the Parliamentary Precinct from a strategic operations point of view;
- Initiating internal processes and debates within Parliament and giving the go ahead for the investigation into the feasibility of relocating the Parliament; and
- Providing the Department of Public Works with the short, medium and long-term user requirements.
The Department of Public Works is responsible for:
- The enhancement of feasibility and socio-economic impact studies and outline possible accommodation solutions.
- Assisting Parliament with the investigations, the planning of the project and ultimately implementing the project, if deemed feasible.
1. OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS TO DATE
Various engagements have been had with Parliament over a number of years and to date the result is the following:
- Inter-Departmental Task Team (IDTT) and Director-General forum meetings were held in February 2016 during which key items and actions were highlighted.
- A Project Steering Committee consisting of the Senior Management of Parliament and the Department of Public Works was established and it is chaired by the Secretary to Parliament, whose responsibility is to ensure the successful implementation of the project. The project involves mainly the production of a comprehensive feasibility study report relating to the socio-economic impacts of Parliament remaining in Cape Town versus it relocating to Pretoria and project due diligence. The following sub-committee work streams were established in March 2017: Legal; Communications and Public Participation; Financial and Socio-economic; Human Resources and Labour Relations; and the Technical and Security Sub-committee.
- Possible construction sites in Tshwane have been identified, but cannot be confirmed until such time that Parliament 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 / Pretoria as the new Legislative Capital of the Republic of South Africa. Parliament’s decision will be informed by a comprehensive feasibility study mentioned above.
2. WAY FORWARD
The following recommendations emanate from the current status quo of the project:
a) Socio-economic impact assessment studies to be completed and the necessary funding to be sourced in order to conduct in-depth investigations of the possible construction sites that have been identified.
b) Parliament and the Department Public Works to discuss challenges relating to the aforementioned and develop a collective way forward.