Parliament's first sitting will be hosted at CTICC, no cost agreement reached yet

Published Jun 4, 2024


Cape Town - With coalition talks on the table, Parliament has confirmed the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will host the first sitting of the seventh democratic Parliament.

While no cost agreement has yet been reached, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said all necessary arrangements had been made for establishing the new National Assembly.

“Comprehensive plans are in place to ensure a seamless transition, including onboarding new members of Parliament,” Mothapo said.

“Currently, there is no National Assembly, and the process to establish the new House has commenced.”

He said the first sitting and onboarding venue had been secured at the CTICC, followed by establishing the National Council of Provinces.

The CTICC’s Cody Madambo said the agreement cost of the sitting was still being finalised.

“They must finalise who is going to do what with whom between the different parties. At this stage, we don’t have any information yet; we only know that they have booked out the venue,” Madambo said.

Event organisers say booking the CTICC for a large-scale, secured event such as a Parliament sitting could cost up to R3.5 million for two days. This would exclude staging infrastructure (including sound, lighting and audiovisual) and catering.

Parliament previously used the Cape Town City Hall for sittings, and has been hunting for an alternative base after the National Assembly and Old Assembly buildings were engulfed in flames on January 2, 2022, following an alleged arson attack.

The first sitting of the National Assembly must occur no later than 14 days after election results are declared, and the Chief Justice of the Republic, Raymond Zondo, will determine and gazette the date for this sitting.

“The Chief Justice will then hand over the list to Parliament, which will then facilitate the appropriate arrangements for the swearing-in of new members of the National Assembly,” Mothapo said.

ActionSA spokesperson Matthew George said hosting Parliament at the CTICC would be costly.

“We will await the announcement from the organisers to understand exactly how the decision was made. Because, as far as we understand, most sittings of Parliament have been conveniently organised at City Hall for the past two or three years now,” he said.

Meanwhile, a meeting by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) – will take place this week.

The meeting is the first since the election results were announced on Sunday – despite over 500 objections from the parties who contested.

In a statement, the party said it was consulting with various interest groups and other political parties “with a view to achieving national unity”.

“The ANC dismisses any fake news attempts at dividing our NEC. We are united and remain focused on using the mandate given to us by our people to build a better life for all,” it said.

The MK Party is calling for a rerun of the elections, insisting they would have crossed the 50% mark in KwaZulu-Natal had it not been for what it calls “IEC vote rigging”.

As coalition talks hot up, parties are racing to clinch their preferred governing partners and secure ministerial portfolios.

The DA has showed its cards, saying it would be willing to work with the ANC or the IFP to keep the MK at bay.

But the ANC source has dismissed DA statements that they are in coalition talks, adding there is little appetite for a coalition with the DA.

“There are no talks with the DA. Our policies don’t align. There is also concern around our international position with Palestine and our role at the International Court of Justice,” the source said.

“If we go into a coalition with the DA, that will be a smack in the face internationally for us. The IFP on the other hand has had a history of battles with the ANC, which is very painful.”

Meanwhile the IFP has rejected as fake news claims that it had closed the door on certain political parties as it embarks on coalition talks.

“We plead that the media and public at large to wait for the IFP to formally communicate our next steps.

“Calmness and maturity will be needed from all of us in order to reach the best possible outcome for South Africa and its people,” the IFP said.