Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s appearance in the House was delayed by almost one hour after what was initially believed to be a fire.
But Parliament said it was a spark and smoke in the Good Hope Chamber, where Mashatile was due to answer questions.
This had then triggered the fire alarm to go off in the chamber.
The incident comes a year after the national legislature was engulfed in a fire that gutted the National Assembly and Old Assembly chambers.
Work has already started to rebuild Parliament and it is estimated the restoration project will be completed by 2025.
Parliament said the start of the oral reply session by Mashatile was delayed due to the problem of the spark and smoke.
Parliamentary officials wanted everything cleared before the session could start.
“It was established that a light capacitor caused the spark, whose smoke triggered the fire alarm within the building. The sitting had to be delayed as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of members of Parliament and staff.
“The spark did not cause any fire and there was no immediate danger to the occupants of the building,” said Parliament.
Mashatile was facing questions related to Eskom, service delivery in the government and municipalities and other challenges faced by the state.