Firefighters battle a flare up at Parly

A pick-up in the wind is being blamed for embers catching light within the roof of the National Assembly on Monday afternoon.

Parliament's National Assembly on fire again after a flare-up on 3 December 2022. Picture: @MolotoMothapo/Twitter

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Services have confirmed there's been a flare up at Parliament.

A pick-up in the wind is being blamed for embers catching light within the roof of the National Assembly on Monday afternoon.

The fire fist broke out on Sunday morning destroying a large section of the building.

READ MORE:

- Parliament fire extinguished, damage extensive

- Parly fire suspect had to be rescued after being trapped in blaze

- Parliament's presiding officers to meet on Monday to assess fire damage

The flare up started just moments after a media briefing on Monday afternoon.

During that briefing, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said while the building had not yet been declared safe for investigators to access, drones would soon be used to get a bird’s eye view.

She also announced that a preliminary report should be complete by Friday, giving officials a clearer picture of the full extent of the damage.

The good news is that parliament's library, museums, historic artifacts, and worker officers have seemingly escaped unscathed.

But from outside the National Assembly, you can see almost every window or door has been burnt, leaving thick black smoke marks along the walls.

Friday's report is expected to shed light on the costs of the damages.

De Lille said there was no CCTV monitoring by security the night before the fire broke out.

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was quick to refute reports that the cameras had not been working at the time.

She's also slammed so-called irresponsible comments by Nehawu, claiming security guards were told they need not work during weekends and public holidays during the vacation season, due to budgetary constraints.

Mapisa-Ngakula said there are too many anomalies with regards to Sunday’s fire.

“Now, the question that I’m sure even a young child would ask is: how is it possible that a fire that started in some part of the old assembly, would find its way to the new assembly?”

SONA WILL GO AHEAD

Presiding Officers in Parliament have assured that the State of the Nation Address will go ahead next month, and parliamentary events will not be postponed.

Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo was among the officials holding a briefing on Monday afternoon.

“The State of the Nation Address, the Budget Speech and other programmes will proceed as planned.”

Masondo said various sections of Parliament were saved.

“We appreciate the fact that some important sections were saved – these include the NCOP chamber and offices, the parliamentary library and the museum.”

Although the cause of the fire has not been determined yet, a 49-year-old suspect has been arrested on charges of arson and theft.