South Africa Parliament hears independent assessment on Jan fire


The South African Parliament said its committee on financial management has been updated on an independent assessment to the damage to Parliament buildings due to a massive fire in January…reports Asian Lite News

According to the assessment following the fire on January 2, the fire in the building of National Assembly, the lower house, caused significant damage to the central structural elements from the 2nd floor to the 6th floor, however, it is “not vulnerable to collapse”, reports Xinhua news agency

Basement floors are flooded, and investigators will inspect them once water is extracted to issue a final report, which will provide a detailed assessment to determine the extent of the damage for full restoration of the building, including providing a cost and time estimate for such works, Parliament in a statement.

MPs were also told urgent work is required to make parts of the Old Assembly safe and that provide a temporary roof to prevent rain from causing damage to lower floors.

South Africa has three capitals, including Cape Town that hosts Parliament.

The fire that lasted more than 70 hours severely damaged the building of the National Assembly and completely burned down its chamber.

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It also caused extensive damage to the century-old Old Assembly building that houses the National Council of Provinces, the upper house.

A 49-year-old Cape Town man Zandile Christmas Mafe, who is suspected of setting fire to Parliament, was arrested on January 2.

His case has been postponed to May 12 due to delays of investigation caused by the “50 tonnes of water” in the basement which needs to be cleared.