File photo: Benny Gool

Parliament - Parliament has appointed a service provider to conduct a feasibility study on moving the national legislature to Pretoria, Speaker Baleka Mbete told members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday.

"With respect to the proposal of relocating parliament from Cape Town to Pretoria, an external service provider, Pamoja PTY LTD, has been appointed to conduct a 6-month socio-economic and impact study commencing this month," Mbete said while opening the debate on Parliament's budget.

"This is a matter that we will hand over to the 6th Parliament."

Proposals to relocate Parliament from Cape Town were first mooted in the 1990s, but plans were shelved after strong opposition from the ruling African National Congress in the Western Cape province.

The proposal was again resuscitated by former president Jacob Zuma who said the government could save billions if it did not have to fly and accommodate government officials and politicians from South Africa's administrative capital, Pretoria, to Cape Town, the country's legislative capital.

However, critics of the move, including the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have said it could have a negative impact on businesses in the Mother City, which it said could run into billions of rand.

African News Agency/ANA