PARLIAMENT – It will be at least another month before the cost of the fire damage to Parliament’s buildings will be known.
Although the structural damage is extensive in two key buildings, preliminary assessments reveal there is no danger of collapse.
The immediate concern now, is containing the loose roof debris.
Engineers briefed Parliament on Friday on their findings.
It’s been three months since this fire caused severe structural damage to five floors of the National Assembly building, and totally razed the main chamber.
The thousands of litres of water in the basement are stalling a complete assessment of the damage.
Work is ongoing around the clock to pump it into city sewers.
Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille said, “We are at an assessment stage and the projected time for finalising the second phase of the assessment Coega has indicated that will be in early May, so we are not starting any restoration in early May.”
The Hawks has now completed its arson investigations, and the site has been returned to the Public Works department to continue further assessments.
Coega Development Corporation’s Christo Beukes said, “we will assess now the extent of damage, the cost thereof and the construction time. The report will also report on whether it’s cost effective to restore, or demolish and rebuild.”
The speaker says it’s premature to decide on the future of Parliament.
National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said, “issues of relocation of Parliament if needs be. Issues of other restoration or rebuilding are issues that we can only start discussing as South Africans once we have had an understanding, a picture of how much we can do with what is left out of the ruins of Parliament.”
At the Old Assembly, urgent work is needed to secure exterior walls and to erect a temporary roof to prevent further damage from rain.