DURBAN – A feasibility study by a Pamoja PTY LTD is being conducted on the subject of moving the national legislature to Pretoria.
Parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete made the announcement in Parliament last week while opening the debate on Parliament’s budget.
Proposals to move Parliament from Cape Town were first raised in the 1990s, however, the plans were put off after the ANC in the Western Cape opposed it.
Although the study is still being conducted the shift to Pretoria could very much be a reality.
To understand the financial implications of the move Business Report contacted the Tshwane Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Cape Town Caper of Commerce.
Here are there responses.
Cape Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Janine Myburgh the CEO of the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry spoke about how jobs will be impacted in the province.
In terms of job employment, Myburgh said that the majority of the staff from Parliament will not be affected because they move to the Mother City for the Parliamentary sitting. However, the support staff will be affected by the possible shift to Pretoria.
She added that there could be major job losses for the service providers to Parliament, parliamentarians, and diplomats.
On the impact to the Cape Town economy, Myburgh said that parliamentary sessions bring in thousands of visitors to the city. The visitors spend freely and they support local restaurants and shops etc which creates and sustains thousands of jobs.
A move to Pretoria will be a big blow to businesses that provide direct and indirect services to Parliament.
Another consequence of the move could be foreign embassies scaling down their offices in the city. The staff from foreign embassies stay in the city for long periods however if their offices scale down businesses like hotels and restaurants can be affected.
Tshwane Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Pieter du Toit the CEO of the Tshwane Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that there will be a lot of job opportunities if Parliament moves to the Gauteng city.
The CEO said that a new building will have to built which could create thousands of job opportunities through the various phases of construction.
In terms of the economic benefits, du Toit said that there will be a huge injection of money into the economy.
The property sector will also do well because people from Parliament will be looking for homes in the city whether the person is a Member of Parliament or a secretary.
He also added that local businesses like restaurants, clothing stores, hotels, etc will also benefit because more people will be moving to the city or using the city as their base.