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#Sopa2016: Zille proposes to move seat of govt to Cape Town

In her Sopa speech, the WC Premier says she has tasked MEC’s to work on proposals for the move.

Outgoing Democratic alliance leader Helen Zille during her final address as party head at the party's national congress in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN
Helen Zille
Local Politics

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says if President Jacob Zuma is serious about saving money South Africa’s seat of government should move from Pretoria to Cape Town.

She made the statement during her State of the Province Address earlier today.

Last week, the president said the cost of maintaining two capitals, a legislative capital in Cape Town and an administrative one in Pretoria, was too high.

The current arrangement means duplicating houses and cars for ministers and their deputies, and doubling expenses for officials who shuttle between the two cities.

Zille has given her MEC’s a task.

“I have tasked ministers [Alan] Winde, [Donald] Grant and [Anton] Bredell to build on existing work in relation to inner city regeneration plans to make concrete proposals for a public-private partnership to locate major government administrative buildings, and high density parliamentary residential accommodation, in the approximately three hectares available for development, in close proximity to our current Parliament.”

She says her proposal will drive down costs and save the country billions of rand.

“What we can do is save an enormous amount on blue light brigades and private jets, because parliamentarians can walk to work.”

The cherry on top, Zille added, is the view in Cape Town is much better.

The premier says the president must ask the Gauteng government to submit comparable proposals and compare the cost-effectiveness of locating the seat of government in Cape Town or Pretoria.

The exact cost of maintaining two capitals has not been quantified.

Some estimates suggest the move would cost R7 billion, but could bring savings of up to R750 million a year.

While the Economic Freedom Fighters supports the idea, other opposition Members of Parliament say a better option is for the president to reduce the size of his cabinet to reduce costs.

LISTEN: Can SA afford to move parliament to Pretoria?

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