The second phase of the report into the Parliament fire has been completed, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille has confirmed.
Firefighters over three days battled to bring the fire under control after the blaze broke out at Parliament on on 2 January this year.
The blaze left Parliament’s Old and New Assembly buildings gutted.
In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, De Lille said the report would be handed over to National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
“The second phase of the report is done. It must now be presented to the Speaker. Parliament wants to have a say before we decide on the restoration of the Parliament building and how long it will take. The extent of the damage to the building has been determined,” she said.
“The proposal we are putting to Parliament is to do it in two phases. The first is to do repairs to the Old Assembly [by] restoring the bulk services there so that the Old Assembly chamber can be used. In terms of the New Assembly chamber, there is where the most damage was done,” De Lille added.
The minister said the report will be released next Tuesday, but “once we have discussed it with Parliament”.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure had deployed a team of engineers to inspect and assess the damage to Parliament.
De Lille received a preliminary report from Coega Development Corporation (CDC) in February.
At the time, the minister said Coega had completed the bulk of the preliminary assessment and reported to the National Assembly.
City of Cape Town report
At this stage, Parliament has only received a fire and safety report from the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services.
According to the report, Parliament’s sprinklers has not been serviced since 2017.
Fire Department Station Commander, JJ Williams, said in the report that the sprinklers were supposed to be serviced in February 2021.
Williams indicated that there was no water to trigger the automatic sprinkler system when the fire broke out.
The report also revealed that the National Assembly’s fire doors did not work because they were latched open.
Parliament’s fire alarm did not go off at the City of Cape Town’s Fire Department.
Security upgrade failures
The officers, who were on duty from 31 December, include a PSS relief commander and three CCTV monitoring room operators.
It was also revealed that the security and protection at Parliament has never improved despite concerns being raised since 2013.
The pending security improvements include the upgrading of Parliament’s perimeter fence height from 1.3 metres to 3 metres, which is prescribed by minimum physical security standards.