Economists have warned that the fire damage caused to parliament will have a negative impact on the county’s fiscus.

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has announced repairs to parliament will run into billions of Rands.

Economist Iraj Abedien says he is shocked that the national treasury and the department of public works failed to insure the national assembly building. The Department does not insure the movable assets of its clients.

As of 31st March of last year, the total value of properties under the custodianship of the department was estimated at R141 billion.

The State says it cannot afford to insure such a massive property portfolio. Abedien says, “News that the national assembly building was not insured is a real concern, it shows the absolute incompetence of the executives who are in charge of these national assets either at the department of public works or national treasury. This requires political intervention. And in my view, they need to resign as a matter of self-respect.”

‘Display of incompetence’ 

Meanwhile, African Transformation Movement leader, Vuyo Zungula says Police Minister Bheki Cele should take full responsibility for the fire that broke out in Parliament if it turns out that the suspect is used as a scapegoat.

Zungula says the fire outbreak is a clear display of incompetence on the part of some government departments.

On Friday, the City of Cape Town released the fire Department’s report into the fire.

The report makes some observations that certain fire safety appliances were dysfunctional.

Zungula says this is concerning. “The fire in Parliament has shown how incompetent some of the Departments in our country are, because if the Department of Public Works has not properly maintained Parliament which Houses the legislative arm of our state to an extent whereby the last service to the gas suppression system, the fire sprinklers were last done in 2017, clearly show we have an incompetent government.