South Africa 9.5.2016 06:00 am

Heritage body can veto parliament move

Fort Klapperkop | Wikimedia

Fort Klapperkop | Wikimedia

Moving parliament to Pretoria could cost you R7bn, the DA says.

If and when the decision is taken to move parliament to Fort Klapperkop in Pretoria, the SA Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) would first have to give the go-ahead.

Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, in his state of the capital address last month, said Fort Klapperkop, a heritage site, had been earmarked as the ideal location for the parliamentary precinct. President Jacob Zuma, during his state of the nation address earlier this year, said the costs involved in maintaining two capital cities – the legislature in Cape Town and the administration in Pretoria – were too high.

But Sahra marketing and communications manager Thomas Khaku said: “No official request has been made to Sahra. “As far as the agency is concerned, the matter is being discussed in the media without any serious consideration regarding impacts, logistical, economic or otherwise.”

Economist Dawie Roodt also expressed concerns regarding the cost of the move.

“It is probably better to leave it as is. Obviously it will be more cost-effective to have government located in one city but the initial cost will be huge and it will take many years to recoup,” he said.

“Over time, it will eventually make financial sense, but it may be a very long time.” Democratic Alliance mayoral candidate Solly Msimanga was emphatic about the party’s concerns.

“At the current time, in the current economic climate, a mooted move is ill-considered and unaffordable. At an estimated cost of R7 billion, we think that money would be better used to uplift the downtrodden communities up and down this country.”

The Tshwane municipality says it will forge ahead despite the “negativity”. – valeskaa@citizen.co.za

 

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