The Heart of Cape Town and the Seat of the Legislature

The South African Houses of Parliament are a symbol of Political Power in South African dating back from 1885. They are situated in Cape Town at the top of Adderley Street in Parliament Street opposite the South African Library and alongside the Company’s Garden. With Table Mountain as a backdrop it creates an impressive landmark. The buildings include the National Council of Provinces Building and the building of the National Assembly. Other attractions in the area are St George's Cathedral and the South African National Gallery.

Guided Tours 

  • Attend a Public Hearing or committee meeting
  • Committees of Parliament
  • Discussion with the Public Relations Unit Head or member of staff
  • Historical account and the functions of Parliament
  • How a law is made; Parliament’s oversight role
  • Involvement of the public in the Parliamentary processes
  • Meeting with a Member of Parliament
  • National Symbols of the country and the New Parliament on a DVD presentation in the multimedia centre
  • Observe debates from the public galleries in the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
  • Presentations on the Structure of Parliament

Tour Requirements

  • Bookings one week in advance
  • Enter through 100 Plein Street (Lelie Street) and then the 90 Plein Street building
  • Be there 15 min before starting time
  • ID or Passport is required
  • The letter received from the Tours Office confirming the tour
  • Baggage not allowed in Parliament
  • Cameras only allowed in certain areas
  • Fire arms and cameras may not be taken in the building
  • Security checks are carried out before entering the building
  • Handbags will be scanned
  • Smoking is allowed only in designated areas
  • Tours for school groups during the holidays need to be booked 2 months in advance
  • Parking available nearby but not in the Parliament grounds

Art Works 

All the art collected over the years that number close to 4 000 are on display to the public. These include:

  • Keiskamma Tapestry woven by the women of the village of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape.
  • Landscape painting by French explorer Francois le Vaillant,
  • Pieces of satire by Daniel Boonzaier
  • Portrait of General Smuts by Sir William Orpen

History

1885 : Houses of parliament designed by Sir Herbert Baker

1890 : Cecil John Rhodes was elected Prime Minister

1895 : Cecil John Rhodes was forced to resign

1960 : Sir Harold Mac Millan announced the Winds of Change speech when he declared Britain was relinquishing power of the African Colonies

1966 : Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, prime minister at the time stabbed to death in Parliament

1994 : Nelson Mandela delivered his inauguration speech in Cape Town from the Parliament Building

Hours

  • Monday to Friday, 9h00 - 12h00
  • Closed weekends and public holidays

Admission

There is no charge.

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