Parliament is hard at work looking for alternative venue options to host the National Assembly plenary sittings and it seems affordability will be an important factor.
Parts of the Parliamentary precinct were gutted by a fire which took place at the start of January 2022, prompting officials to spring into action and find possible venues, so as to allow the work of Parliament to continue unhindered.
While the Good Hope Chamber will be used to host the sitting of the National Assembly, Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says they are also exploring a longer-term, affordable and feasible alternative, with adequate capacity to accommodate all MPs physically.
“In this regard, the CTICC [Cape Town International Convention Centre] is one of the options being explored, and engagements are taking place with its management. Parliament will, as per agreement at the Friday meeting with the CTICC, provide the company with a comprehensive list of needs and requirements to determine the cost (quotation) of hosting the Assembly business at the venue,” Mothapo said.
NEARLY R1 MILLION A DAY TO HOST PARLIAMENT SITTINGS?
Meanwhile, Parliament has also come out guns blazing against a Sunday Times report suggesting that moving the National Assembly to the CTICC will be at least R950 000 a day.
The publication reported over the weekend that discussions have been taking place between the leadership of Parliament and the management of the CTICC. If true, this would mean that taxpayers would be paying a staggering R4.7 million a week for the venue. Moloto has slammed the report, saying the costs published are unfortunate speculation and misleading.
“In the interest of openness and transparency, Parliament will inform the public about the costs of holding sittings at any alternative venue that would be decided, once such prices are determined. As we said before, whatever venue Parliament will opt for must be financially sensible, feasible and strengthen Parliament’s ability to fulfil its constitutional functions.”
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo