South Africa - Cape Town - 03 January 2022 - Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa- Nqakula briefing the media about the fire that destroyed the National Parliament of South Africa on Sunday,she was joined by chairperson on the NCOP Amos Masondo and her deputy Sylvia Lucas as well as Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille . Photograph : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Cape Town - 03 January 2022 - Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa- Nqakula briefing the media about the fire that destroyed the National Parliament of South Africa on Sunday,she was joined by chairperson on the NCOP Amos Masondo and her deputy Sylvia Lucas as well as Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille . Photograph : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Parliament fire: clarity on outstanding fire and safety reports given

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jan 4, 2022

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NATIONAL Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the Public Works and Infrastructure Department is tasked with implementing the recommendations of the forensic report of the fire that broke out in Parliament in March last year.

Briefing the media on Monday, Mapisa-Nqakula said the report into last year’s fire found the cause of the blaze to be an electrical fault.

“Already the Department of Public Works is seized with the implementation of the recommendations, which are contained in that report.

“I am aware of this. I am well informed because the secretary briefed me about what is done by Public Works within the precinct to address that particular issue,” she said.

The release of the report and another, known as the BDO report, that was commissioned by the department and the legislature into the safety issues at Parliament, made headlines after Sunday’s fire.

The DA has raised concern that the report was not made public and claimed it identified 30 findings and plans to address risk and areas of concern.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the BDO report was a public document and that it would be made public.

She also said the BDO report was handed over to her by De Lille after she realised that she had not as yet been briefed about the contents of that report since she took over as the political head of the national legislature.

“The BDO report is a report, which we agreed together with the Minister of Public Works that the two of us with officials of the two departments, the Department of Public Works and secretary of Parliament will have to go through and identify all of the findings, look at recommendations and act accordingly.”

Mapisa-Nqakula also reiterated that a report that was being studied could not be handed over to MPs.

“You hand over a report when you present to MPs and you are conversant with issues which are raised in the report."

She said there was no secrecy about the BDO report and that MPs would have access to it.

“What is important, between myself and the minister together with senior government officials, we need to go and identify the recommendations that require us to act on,” she said.

De Lille meanwhile sketched the processes that were followed since the fire broke out last year, including seeking approvals from the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) to undertake renovations.

She said her department was instructed by Sahra to appoint a specialist to do further assessments and that the National Treasury issued a circular stopping the tender during the festive season until February 15.

The minister also said the whole section that was to be fixed due to damage caused by the March fire was part of the area that was destroyed in Sunday’s fire.

“We will not go out for tender to repair that part of Parliament because it is completely destroyed,” De Lille said.

Meanwhile, Mapisa-Nqakula said they were anxiously waiting for the report of the City of Cape Town’s fire department.

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Political Bureau

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