Engineers have recommended that the New National Assembly Building at Parliament is unsafe, should be cordoned off and closed with immediate effect to restrict access. This is contained in an updated statement by Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille following a preliminary report into the fire.
In statement De Lille says on the basis of the preliminary visual inspections, there is evidence of severe structural damage to the slabs of the National Assembly Building. She says the slabs affected by the damage are the second, third and fourth floors.
De Lille says the internal professional team recommended that the New National Assembly Building is unsafe, should be cordoned off and closed with immediate effect in order to restrict access. The Old Assembly Chamber has already been closed and declared unsafe earlier this week.
Sprinkler valve not serviced
Earlier on Friday the City of Cape Town released various reports on the fire that engulfed the National Assembly and Old Assembly Buildings.
In the report Fire Station Commander JJ Williams says it is not an official fire report but has been released for information purposes.
Williams says it provides the observations of City fire safety officers who worked on the scene.
The Station Commander says when he walked around the affected areas he found that the National Assembly sprinkler valve was not serviced.
This he says was last serviced in 2017 while it has to be done every three years.
He says if it was properly serviced the valve should have been locked with a chain in an open position and a block plan would have been available showing system layout.
According to the report lifts continued to operate despite a “break glass” unit at one lift being activated. It says fire doors were locked in an open position using latches And roof smoke vents did activate at the National Assembly.
SABC News Reporter Lulama Matya gives the latest update on developments from Parliament: