South Africa's Parliament building is on fire

The blaze broke out in the parliamentary precinct in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A fire has been reported at the South African Parliament building on 2 January 2022. Picture: Twitter

CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s parliamentary building in Cape Town is on fire.

Firefighters were present at the building as large flames and a huge column of smoke were seen at around 5:30am.

Officials say the fire is currently on the third floor and initial reports indicate it started in the office space and is spreading near the gymnasium.

"The roof has caught fire and the National Assembly building is also on fire," a spokesperson for the city's emergency services told AFP, requesting reinforcements at the scene.

"The fire is not under control and cracks in the walls of the building have been reported," he added.

Images seen on social media, and not verified by AFP, showed a mass of flames licking through what appeared to be the roof of one of the parliament buildings.

There was no indication of what may have started the fire.

The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town consist of three sections, including the original and oldest building that was completed in 1884.

The newer additions, constructed in the 1920s and 1980s, house the National Assembly.

In April last year, a fire ravaged part of The University of Cape Town's library housing a unique collection of African archives.

LISTEN: City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse interviewed on Talk Radio 702.