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HomePoliticsEFFEFF Withdraws Proposed Bill to Relocate Parliament: What Does It Mean?

EFF Withdraws Proposed Bill to Relocate Parliament: What Does It Mean?

The EFF argues that these decisions were made with complete and discriminatory exclusion of black people, making parliament inaccessible to most South Africans today. The party also highlighted the exorbitant costs associated with maintaining two separate cities for the administrative and legislative functions of government.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has recently confirmed the withdrawal of its proposed bill calling for the relocation of parliament from Cape Town to Tshwane. This decision has sparked much debate and speculation about the party’s motives and the implications for South Africa’s political landscape.

The bill, known as the Relocation of the Seat of Parliament Bill, was introduced by EFF leader Julius Malema in November last year. It aimed to address the historical irrational decisions made by colonial settlers, which resulted in the separation of administrative and legislative capitals into two cities.

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The EFF argues that these decisions were made with complete and discriminatory exclusion of black people, making parliament inaccessible to most South Africans today. The party also highlighted the exorbitant costs associated with maintaining two separate cities for the administrative and legislative functions of government.

According to the EFF, billions of rands are spent on travel, accommodation, and subsistence allowances for MPs, ministers, and government officials shuttling between Cape Town and Pretoria. The party believes that consolidating the administrative and legislative functions in one city would not only save taxpayers money but also rectify the historical injustices perpetuated by colonial agreements.

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However, the bill faced significant opposition during a parliamentary debate in June, with many parties citing the high costs of relocation as a major concern. The African National Congress (ANC) stated that relocating parliament was not a priority for the country and did not support the bill.

Despite the withdrawal of the bill, the EFF has made it clear that this is a tactical move for long-term strategic purposes. The party aims to gain control of political power and intends to reintroduce the bill after the 2024 general elections.

While the withdrawal of the bill may come as a disappointment to some, it provides an opportunity for further discussion and reflection on the issue of parliamentary relocation. The EFF’s decision has reignited the debate about the need to address the historical injustices of colonialism and the practicality of maintaining two separate cities for government functions.

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It is worth noting that a study commissioned by parliament in 2018 estimated that it would cost R8.4 billion over five years to build a new parliamentary complex in Pretoria and relocate over 1,000 employees from Cape Town. However, this cost would be offset by the savings from regular renovations and maintenance of the current precinct, which amounted to R4.2 billion over four years. The study also projected a reduction of R183 million per year in the cost of shuttling ministers and their support staff between the two cities.

As South Africa continues to grapple with the legacy of apartheid and strive for a more inclusive and equitable society, the question of parliamentary relocation remains a complex and contentious issue. It requires careful consideration of historical injustices, financial implications, and the practicality of consolidating government functions in one city.

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Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
In the fast-paced world of politics, staying informed is crucial. Ntuthuko Gumede, a renowned journalist, has been making waves with his insightful and thought-provoking political news articles on SurgeZirc SA. With his expertise and dedication to reporting accurate and unbiased information, Gumede has become a trusted source for political analysis.
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