The fire has affected both the Old Assembly Wing and the National Assembly Wing of the buildings of Parliament in Cape Town, which house the chambers of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
While a 49-year-old suspect has since been arrested, the EFF has called for the relocating of Parliament to Tshwane.
“As much as we note the fires with concern, the EFF has long called for Parliament to be relocated to a central location for political and cost-related reasons,” the party said in a statement.
The Red Berets maintained that Parliament’s current location was “a waste of taxpayers’ money” which results in “unnecessary expenditure for travel and accommodation for parliamentarians and Cabinet members”.
The party has suggested that the money that will be allocated for repairs to the building should be spent on the relocation instead.
“If there is any appetite to curb wasteful government expenditure and cut all ties related to the colonial framework established by those who conquered this nation, this fire must serve as an opportunity to permanently relocate Parliament to Gauteng. This will allow government work to be synchronised,” the EFF said.
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi seemingly celebrated Parliament going down in flames, describing the incident as “a beautiful fire”.
“Whatever the cause! Whatever the intentions, it is a beautiful fire. A fire that allows us to start from scratch! A clean slate. Don’t renovate! Turn it into a museum as we accept a gift of so beautiful a fire! A clean slate to start afresh in Tshwane,” he said on Twitter.
Ndlozi also hit back at Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chairperson, Helen Zille, after she criticised the EFF MP for his actions.
“Tragedy is not [an] apartheid symbol burning down without a single loss of life. Tragedy is the normalised poverty, landlessness and squalor that the black majority is subjected to in Cape Town. Humiliated next to world class white wealth [and] opulence. But a colonial mistress won’t care,” he said in response to Zille’s tweet.
This is not the first time the EFF has suggested the idea of relocating Parliament to Gauteng.
In February 2020, the party’s deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, raised the matter during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) debate.
Shivambu asked why Parliament could not be relocated to the province, saying the National Assembly is in Cape Town “because of a colonial pact”.
“Why can’t we start the process of relocating Parliament to an area which is accessible. If we take Parliament to Gauteng the people from Limpopo, from Mpumalanga, from North West, from KwaZulu-Natal [and] from the Northern Cape will have an opportunity to drive in the morning, make a submission in the morning and go back home at night,” he said.