- The ANC parliamentary caucus made an about turn after it initially rejected the City of Cape Town’s offer to host SONA.
- Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says the city genuinely wants to help.
- The party also called on law enforcement agencies to determine if there was a co-ordinated plan to destroy Parliament.
parliamentary caucus has made an about turn on its stance for the DA-run City
of Cape Town and Western Cape to provide facilities for the State of the Nation
Address (SONA) and parliamentary sittings after a fire destroyed the National
Assembly chamber and much of the Old Assembly wing.
party earlier rejected the City of Cape Town’s offer to host SONA, they just
hours later backtracked saying the “old debate about Parliament moving to
Tshwane is a matter that has not yet been resolved in terms of the constitution
and would be premature and wrong to jump on the bandwagon for purposes of cheap
the moment, the issue is not a priority for the ANC Parliamentary Caucus.”
In their statement,
the party caucus added: “All available public facilities should be
utilised as and when available to carry out national duties. Such public
facilities regardless of the sphere of
their location remain State resources in the hands of the people and should be
used to serve the interests of the people.”
the party said an offer from the City of Cape Town to host the SONA was politically
noted the highly opportunistic manner camouflaged as an act of generosity on
the part of the DA-led Western Cape government to lobby for hosting SONA as a
political ploy and that other avenues must be explored,” read a statement
from the caucus.
fire, which broke in the early hours of Sunday, Cape Town Mayor Geordin
Hill-Lewis, until November last year a MP himself, offered the Cape Town
Council Chamber for sittings of the National Assembly, as well as the use of
the Grand Parade and City Hall for SONA.
READ | Parliament fire: Accused allegedly found with stolen laptops and documents, court hears
said the caucus’ initial response was “sad” and the City genuinely
wanted to help.
is a national tragedy. We genuinely want to help. We genuinely want to come
together and do what we can to ensure Parliament continues,” he added.
have this facilities available, free of charge, it has all the systems,
security, voting systems- it is all there. If they think it should be an
opportunity to divide rather than unite, it is really sad.”
Wednesday, Parliament confirmed SONA, the budget speech and other programmes
would proceed as planned.
will share further details about where and how these events will occur,”
read a statement from it.
The caucus also previously dismissed the notion of relocating Parliament to Tshwane.
WATCH | Drone footage shows extent of devastating fire that ripped through Parliament
“The ANC caucus has agreed that our focus as the ANC is to ensure that we wrestle out between those who are recommending the use of the facilities of the City of Cape Town [DA-led] and those who are pushing for the permanent relocation of Parliament to Tshwane.”
The ANC caucus in the Western Cape legislature supported this pronouncement.
“Having the two seats of government, the administrative and the legislative seat, situated in Tshwane and Cape Town, respectively, is a big contribution to unity and nation-building.
“We do not need to build a new parliamentary precinct in Gauteng,” said ANC leader in the Western Cape legislature Cameron Dugmore in a separate statement.
“This is clearly not a national priority. What is now needed is to establish what factors led to clear security lapses that contributed to the fire, and a plan to get the business of Parliament going, including arrangements for the State of the Nation Address.”
The ANC parliamentary caucus had also called on law enforcement agencies to “unearth if there was a co-ordinated plan that led to the destruction of Parliament”.
“For its part, the ANC caucus will mobilise all efforts to ensure that we assist in the rebuilding efforts aimed at restoring the structural integrity of the seat of the legislature.
READ | Parliament fire: CCTV was working but no one was watching. Where were the police?
“Caucus notes that this frontal attack occurs a few months after the devastation of the July 2021 mayhem that caused massive destruction of lives and property costing the country billions of rand, untold misery and economic losses mostly in the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.”
The party also claimed it held Parliament in the “highest regard”.
“Caucus has noted that since the dawn of democracy, it has become commonplace for the ANC to be attacked by opposition parties in Parliament. Today, not only is the ANC under siege, but Parliament the symbol and essence of the will of each and every South African – is under attack.
“Consistent with its principles, meanwhile the ANC has continued to radiate the highest regard to Parliament and the diversity of constituencies whose aspirations are represented in it from across all of South Africa.”
Source by www.news24.com