Tshwane Mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa has identified a site for the relocation of South Africa’s parliament. According to the mayor, Fort Klapperkop would be an ideal site for the relocation. Delivering his State of the City Address at Freedom Park on Thursday, he asserted that Tshwane is very ready to have parliament erected in Fort Klapperkop.
During SONA in February, President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address proposed the relocation of parliament from Cape Town to the capital. But many people objected to his proposal, however it is pertinent to note that the debate over Parliament relocation has made headlines severally since the first democratic election in 1994.
While Zuma maintained that the move would create huge savings as officials and cabinet ministers’ travel costs would be slashed, many parliamentarians and political experts asserted that relocating parliament would cost the government.
Moving on, Kgosientso Ramokgopa stated that the proposed site borders on Groenkloof and is in the vicinity of the University of South Africa campus and Freedom Park. He also said SA should move Parliament in order to help build a united nation with one vision. To him, if the Constitution would continue to remain the supreme law of the land, then Zuma’s proposal should be considered.
“This site passed all the criteria, including its relevance to the Tshwane inner-city renewal strategy; its symbolic significance and standing relative to the Union Buildings; its natural and environmental dimensions; as well as its accessibility and immediate availability of land.
The City owned the land and the site was close to the main roads leading into the Pretoria CBD, to the Gautrain, and to OR Tambo International Airport. Above all else, the location of Parliament at Fort Klapperkop connects the trilogy of significant monuments in the form of the Union Buildings, the National Heroes Acre at Fountains Valley and the informal cultural capital – Freedom Park – where we find ourselves today,” Ramokgopa stated.
He said one of the glaring divisions of the country’s past was the physical separation of the state’s legislative and executive arms. And that having two capital cities in South Africa reminds one of its morally deplorable past, which the Constitution intended to eradicate.
The City of Tshwane is the metropolitan municipality that forms the local government of northern Gauteng Province.