The Parliament building has officially been handed over to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, to investigate the circumstances around the devastating fire that started on Sunday.
Department of Public Works and Infrastructure engineers are also on site to determine if the affected buildings are safe for access by the Hawks.
The Hawks investigators are expected to gain access to the buildings once they receive confirmation from the multidisciplinary team of engineers, including structural, electrical, and forensic experts.
The Presiding Officers of Parliament, National Assembly (NA) Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Amos Masondo have confirmed that firefighters have now completely withdrawn from the parliamentary precinct.
“We are satisfied with the overall progress made on the containment of fire and the investigations currently underway at the precinct of Parliament,” said Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.
Various teams of the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service Department worked tirelessly to contain the blaze since Sunday and following the flare-up on Tuesday.
“The firefighters worked over 71 hours with unspeakable courage and bravery to contain the fire. Over 300 men and women were deployed, 60 firefighting appliances and two specialised aerial pieces of equipment were used during the three-day battle against the blaze,” said Mothapo.
Meanwhile, Mothapo says preparations for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) scheduled for 10 February 2022 are at an advanced stage.
On Thursday, the Presiding Officers will join the Mayor of the City of Cape Town on inspection of the possible alternative venues, such as the Municipal Chambers, Cape Town International Convention Centre, and the Town Hall.
The inspection follows the offer by the provincial government of the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town for the use of these venues for both the SONA and the Budget speech.
(Compiled by Narissa Subramoney)