President Jacob Zuma recently told Parliament in his State of the Nation Address that he wants to “urgently investigate” the practicality of having two capitals in South Africa.
Currently, Pretoria is the administrative capital, while Cape Town is the legislative capital.
It stands to reason that if South Africa adopted a single capital, it is likely to be one the existing capital cities.
“The choice is: do you want a world-class city for a capital, or do you want Pretoria?” president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce Janine Myburgh told the Sunday Times.
“It’s a no-brainer.”
Myburgh argued that Cape Town was the cleanest, safest, and best-run urban area in South Africa.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said that instead of jostling capitals, the government should rather save money by trimming the cabinet and being more efficient.
In his request to Parliament, Zuma said that members of the national executive had to have two cars and two houses – one in Cape Town and one in Pretoria.
There were also a number of officials who travelled back-and-forth between the cities.
Tim Harris, CEO of Cape Town’s trade and investment agency Wesgro, said that the cost of a new parliamentary precinct in Pretoria would dwarf the existing travel costs.
The full report is in the Sunday Times of 14 February 2016.