Reconstruction commences on South Africa’s Parliament building

South Africa’s Parliament is to finally begin reconstruction, two years after it was destroyed by a fire.

A statement issued last Wednesday by Parliament confirmed that construction would commence in the first quarter of this year and reach its conclusion by the end of 2025.

Over R2 million has been secured to fund the reconstruction of the damaged buildings – which included committee rooms, offices as well as the main National Assembly chamber. In addition, R118 million has been announced for unforeseen expenditures due to the fire.

The statement revealed that the rebuilding work was also an opportunity to modernise its digital infrastructure. It says: “The previous Parliament buildings were designed to meet the specific, limited requirements of colonial and apartheid-era governance. However, the new Parliament building is being developed to effectively address the demands of a democratic era.”

A report released in October 2023 stated that the devastating fire could have been prevented had the Parliamentary Protection Services been on duty at the time. Since, it has moved to suspend nine official senior officials, over the incident.

The fire originally broke out on a weekend, with fresh blazes also breaking out the next day. More than 70 firefighters were summoned to tackle the original blaze, which saw the roof of the New Wing collapse, as well as a partial collapse of the Old Wing. By the next day, firefighter numbers had fallen to just a dozen who were tasks with dampening down hotspots.

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