The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure says it does not insure the movable property of its client departments or tenants.

This follows the devastating blaze that gutted the National Assembly and Old Assembly buildings. The fire which broke out in the Old Assembly building on January 2 spread to the new National Assembly wing.

There have been questions and concerns raised about the insurance of the buildings and movable property.

The department says Treasury regulations allow the Accounting Officers of the institution to insure the movable assets of their institutions.

Public Works says the thousands of state properties are leased to 52 client departments around the country.

Public Works Acting Director-General Imtiaz Fazel says the value of all property under the custodianship of the department was R141 billion by the end of the financial year in March 2021.

Parliament fire | View from the Old Assembly Chamber: Mercedes Besent

In a statement, Fazel says the damage caused by the fire in Parliament is not yet known.

He says the engineers and architects only gained access to the fire-affected areas on Tuesday afternoon last week.

Fazel says the multi-disciplinary team is assessing the cost of the damage.

He says when it comes to valuations of buildings, historical cost records are not available for state properties in many instances.

The Acting Director-General also adds that comparable property values may not be available in the case of specialised buildings.

He says the deemed costs of the buildings that were gutted by fire in Parliament are in the region of R221 million.

Meanwhile, it’s been a week since the National Assembly building was totally destroyed by the blaze after the fire re-ignited after 4pm on Monday last week.

49-year-old Zandile Christmas Mafe has been arrested by the Hawks for allegedly starting the fire.

He already appeared in the Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town last week.

He is facing charges of destruction of essential infrastructure, the possession of an explosive device, arson, theft and housebreaking.

Mafe’s bail application was been postponed to Tuesday [January 11] for the court to verify his information.

Zandile Mafe’s lawyer Luvuyo Godla speaks to the SABC: