EFF leader Julius Malema plans to introduce the Relocation of Parliament Bill in coming weeks which, if adopted, would see parliament relocated from Cape Town to the City of Tshwane.
In an explanatory memorandum gazetted this week, Malema said parliament’s current location creates several problems for MPs, politicians and “broader society” wanting to participate in parliament's legislative and oversight functions.
The bill comes as the old assembly and the new National Assembly buildings that were ravaged by fire earlier this year are still to be restored.
“Parliament is located in the farthest province from the majority of provinces, making it inaccessible to the majority of South Africans, including MPs who spend a significant amount of time travelling to and from parliament,” Malema argued.
He said participation in parliamentary programmes is limited to individuals and institutions with financial resources and excludes those unable to travel to Cape Town.
“As a result, parliament and the government spend a lot of money on travel and lodging for MPs, the executive, the government, and state officials in order to keep colonial agreements that separate [the] administrative and legislative capita(s) in two cities by racist colonisers who excluded the majority of black people and still do so today,” he said.
Interested parties and institutions are invited to submit written representations on the proposed content of the draft bill to the speaker of the National Assembly within 30 days of the publication of the notice.