The Draft Relocation of Parliament Bill is in the pipeline.
Parliament published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 46422.
The draft private member’s bill was drawn up by Julius Malema, an Economic Freedom Fighters member of parliament.
According to the explanatory summary, parliament’s current location in Cape Town “creates several problems for Members of Parliament, the Executive, government and officials from organs of state, and the broader society that wishes to participate in legislative and oversight functions performed by Parliament”.
It adds that parliament is “located in the farthest province from the majority of provinces, making it inaccessible to the majority of South Africans, including Members of Parliament who spend a significant amount of time traveling to and from Parliament”.
Malema points out that participation in parliamentary programs is limited to individuals and institutions with financial resources thereby excluding those unable to travel to Cape Town.
“As a result, Parliament and the government spend a lot of money on travel and lodging for Members of Parliament, the Executive, the government, and state officials in order to keep colonial agreements that separate administrative and legislative capital in two cities by racist colonisers who excluded the majority of black people and still does so today.”
The proposed legislation aims to relocate the seat of parliament to Tshwane in Gauteng.
The plan is to table the draft bill in parliament during the second quarter of 2022/2023.
Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.