Parts of parliamentary buildings still not safe for access: Engineers

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Engineers have revealed that some of the areas in the parliamentary buildings that were destroyed by fire early this year are still not safe for access. This is contained in the version of the preliminary report being conducted in relation to the fire.

The details of the Phase 1 assessment including the extent of the damages caused and potential costs are expected to be presented next month.

According to engineers, the envisaged full report will also provide further details on whether the building will be demolished and rebuilt.

The video below is reporting on the Parliament fire:

The Public Works and Infrastructure Department has appointed the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), to conduct the investigation.

Senior engineer at CDC, Christo Beukes explains, “After the extraction of the water and if the smell is evident in the building we will engage the city of Cape Town department to assist us with some air sampling in order to determine if the gas is potentially hazardous or not and we will deal with any mitigation.”

The fire has also re-ignited calls for the relocation of Parliament to the Tshwane metro.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Omphile Maotwe says, “That contract that sought to conduct a feasibility study of the relocation of parliament to Tshwane and we do understand that Bamoja capital group submitted the report to parliament and the letter from the acting secretary says that because there is new leadership and new executive authority. They need some time to work on it but mam’ Mapisa was elected a Speaker a long time ago. So how long does the speaker need to go through this report?”

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille says, The whole issue of moving parliament I have said before in the Constitution of South Africa it is stated in order to change the seat of parliament it must be done through an Act of parliament. So that constitutional obligation must first be carried out and then it is parliament then through an Act of parliament that will decide to change the seat of parliament or to keep parliament in place.”

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says, “Issues of relocation of parliament if needs be, issues of other restoration or rebuilding of parliament are issues which we can only start discussing as South Africans, once we have had an understanding picture of how much we can do of what is left out of the ruins of parliament.”

However, the engineers assessing the damage say it is premature to make a determination on whether to demolish Parliament.

A 49-year-old Zandile Mafe faces charges of destruction of essential infrastructure, the possession of an explosive device, arson, theft and housebreaking.