Fire breaks out in South Africa Parliament building

World Sunday 02/January/2022 15:02 PM
By: DW
Fire breaks out in South Africa Parliament building

Cape Town: A fire broke out at the South African Parliament building in Cape Town in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Firefighters are battling a blaze in the national Parliament buildings in Cape Town. The cause of the fire is not known as of now.

Large flames and a column of smoke could be seen coming from the National Assembly. A statement by Jean-Pierre Smith, the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security, said 36 firefighters were at the scene.

The fire broke out around 3:00 a.m. UTC and was on the third story of the Parliament building. Reports indicated that it started in the office space and spread towards a gym. The roof had also caught fire.

The nearby area, including the cathedral where Archbishop Desmond Tutu was buried on Saturday, was cordoned off.

No casualties have been reported, and it was not immediately clear if anyone was in the building when the fire started.

Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille told reporters the Old Assembly building had caught fire. She added that the situation was mostly under control and that while an extractor was pulling the smoke out of the National Assembly. She said the fire had been contained in other parts of the building but was still burning in the National Assembly chamber.

The cause of the blaze is still unknown. De Lille said officials were reviewing CCTV footage to determine the cause of the fire.

The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town consist of three main sections. The oldest was constructed in 1884, and the newer sections were added in the 1920s and 1980s. While South Africa's National Assembly and upper House National Council of Provinces are located in Cape Town, the government is based in Pretoria.