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MPs to receive preliminary report on Parliament fire on Friday

Parliament’s presiding officers have urged all relevant authorities to leave no stone unturned in establishing the cause of the fire that devastated the Parliamentary Precinct. Picture: City of Cape Town.

Parliament’s presiding officers have urged all relevant authorities to leave no stone unturned in establishing the cause of the fire that devastated the Parliamentary Precinct. Picture: City of Cape Town.

Published Jan 13, 2022

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Cape Town - Parliamentarians will receive a preliminary report on the fire that gutted the national legislature when the National Assembly committee on financial management of the institution meets on Friday.

The planned meeting is a sequel to another held last week where many questions by MPs went unanswered after the administration asked to respond in writing.

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Briefing the joint meeting of programming committees for both Houses on Thursday, chairperson of committees Cedric Frolick said acting secretary of Parliament Baby Tyawa would table her report at the scheduled meeting.

“In the fist meeting there were specific question in the role of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) as well as security issues around Parliament.

“There will be responses after acting secretary has given a detailed report in a Friday meeting to some of the questions asked,” Frolick said.

He told the MPs that following the fire, the important issue has been to allow investigations to continue, but there were certain difficulties.

“The National Assembly chamber together with the offices around and above have been completely gutted.

“They have been rendered by engineers from DPWI to be unsafe,” he said.

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“That has impact on the work the police are doing,” he said.

Frolick noted that there is a report from the City of Cape Town’s fire department, which sets out its assessment on the fire at the precinct.

“That report is no way replacing the forensic work that needs to be done inside the buildings to try to come to the point to say where and how the fire started.

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“That is work of the police and they are continuing with that,” he said.

Frolick also said Parliament has set up different work streams that focused on matters to deal with, including investigations, contingency arrangements for State of the Nation address, tabling of budget speech, security and communication.

He also said the one of the prioritises was the alternative office space for affected parties such the ANC, PAC, GOOD and NFP, whose offices have been destroyed.

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“We do not know at this stage the extent of destruction that has taken place there because the building has been declared unsafe.”

Frolick said arrangement have been under way to prepare for the hosting of Sona at Cape Town City Hall.

“Since the fire started there was immediate consultation and discussion between NCOP chairperson, National Assembly Speaker and leaders of political parties.

“This was followed up on Monday when she had a meeting with all parties and chief whips to brief them on developments.

“All outstanding matters will go to the meeting on Friday to be attended by the presiding officers,” he said in reference to meeting where Tyawa would table a preliminary report on the fire and security issues.

Frolick told the MPs to be mindful that the preliminary report would still be updated.

“Parties are to be taken on board as info becomes available,” he said.

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Political Bureau

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