CAPE TOWN VS PRETORIA: SHOULD SOUTH AFRICA HAVE ONLY ONE CAPITAL CITY? is a Norway-based blog about the capitals of the world, with a focus on tourism and travel, the environment, diplomatic affairs and politics, lifestyle, culture and entertainment, food and drink. See also our travel blog at – Contact us at [email protected]

Cape Town

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma has called for Parliament to look at the country’s three capitals, advising that it is not practical for the country to maintain three capital cities in his 2016 State of the Nation Address.

South Africa is one of a few countries worldwide that has not one but three capitals: Cape Town, in the Western Cape, is the legislative capital and seat of Parliament. 


Bloemfontein, in the Free State, is the judicial capital, and home to the Supreme Court of Appeal. 


Pretoria, in Gauteng, is the administrative capital, seat of government and home to foreign embassies, and the ultimate capital of the country. It is home to the Union Buildings, which houses the Office of the President, and a large proportion of the public service.

President Zuma said having two capitals on opposite sides of the country meant that the State not only needed to maintain the two, but that MPs also needed to have two houses and two cars in order to do their duties – as an “unnecessary cost”.

In an ENCA interview live from Parliament the leader of the Freedom Front+ Pieter Mulder said any opportunity to cut government spending was good, although the move to have one parliament was suggested, and should have been done, in 1994 already and that if it does happen it will be an “expensive exercise that could take as long as 10 years”.

“We lose five to six hours of work travelling to Cape Town, we will support the move to of having these capitals come together as it will not only save time but also money,” said Reverend Kenneth Moshoe of the ACDAP.  

Zuma also said the State plans to invest about R100m per annum to encourage South Africans to tour the country more.

While connectivity has been increased across aviation hubs such as OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and King Shaka International Airport in Durban, a good place to start would be to improve the more affordable rail travel, with facilities and safety needing to be addressed. 

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Se vår bloggpost om Sør-Afrikas tre hovedsteder her

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