South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) on Monday welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s proposal for Parliament to consider relocating to one of the country’s capital cities – Pretoria.
“The existence of two capitals, Pretoria as the seat of government and Cape Town as the seat of Parliament, is an unsustainable, onerously expensive and indefensible arrangement which was intended to serve the narrow interests of the colonial rulers and must be corrected without delay,” spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.
South Africa’s administrative capital is in Pretoria and the legislature is in Cape Town. This meant – particularly for the executive – that ministers must have two houses; one in Pretoria and another in Cape Town.
Zuma made the proposal during his State of the Nation Address last week , saying it would save the country a lot of money.
“You must have two cars; one in Pretoria, one in Cape Town. You must have a number of officials travelling up and down and because they have got no infrastructure, they are using hotels. This is a matter to be considered on an urgent basis,” said Zuma.
But opposition parties disagreed with Zuma, saying the move would cost a lot of money.
Most of the parties said the president should instead reduce the size of his cabinet, “so there aren’t a lot of ministers that have two cars in both provinces,” said one opposition party member.
The ANC said they were confident that Zuma’s proposal would be carefully thought through.