The affordable education loan option
Pretoria - The debate about having Cape Town as the legislative capital and Pretoria as the seat of the executive appears to have been reopened.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday announced departmental delegations appearing before parliamentary committees would be cut in the interest of saving costs.
The leader of government business at Parliament, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, would now engage with the national legislature on measures to cut costs of government delegations to the national legislature, and also look at “the cost implications of the current Pretoria-Cape Town arrangements”.
Some 15 years ago, there was a strong push for Parliament to move north. Amid a vocal campaign to keep it in Cape Town, ultimately nothing came of it.
Parliamentary finance committee chairman and ANC MP Thaba Mufamadi said the focus was on reducing costs of travel between the Union Buildings and Parliament. “It’s a cost-saving exercise,” he said, adding the possibility of a move was there: “It’s a long overdue debate. Let’s confront it”.
Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana, known for saying she did not fly “lala (economy) class”, said the “single biggest expense is having Parliament in Cape Town”, while the administration was in Pretoria. It meant ministers, directors-general their deputies and chief directors had to incur travel and hotel expenses. ACDP MP Steve Swart said it was important not only to quantify flight costs between Pretoria and Cape Town, but also capital expenditure, should the national legislature move to Gauteng.