Cape Argus E-dition

‘Upgrades to Parliament going well so far’ after 2022 blaze


THE Parliament Secretary (SC) said he is pleased with the progress that had been made so far to upgrade infrastructure on Parliament buildings that were damaged by a fire allegedly started by Zandile Mafe in 2022.

Xolile George (SC), said the project team had put together a programme with designs scheduled to be completed by February 2024 to allow the pre-qualified contractors to price their bids. He said the planned completion date is November 28, 2025.

“After the project was handed over to Parliament by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in March 2023, work began in earnest.

“This was in response to the dire situation that left Members of Parliament without offices.

“Planning, design work, and procurement were concluded for the reconfiguration of the 4th and 5th floors in the 90 Plein Street building. Construction started on July 17, 2023, and was completed on September 6,” said George.

He said a total of 155 offices for Members of Parliament were completed within a period of seven weeks.

“These offices are now fully furnished, including two meeting rooms, three pause areas with kitchenettes, two reception areas, and three storerooms.

Also part of the project was building 20 interpretation booths and two sign language studios to support the core business of Parliament.”

Parliament said a temporary roof was installed on the sections of the Old Assembly building that were affected by the fire, and this will ensure that the interior of the building is protected from elements and that work during construction can continue without disruptions.

“The next phase of the project includes repairs and upgrades to the Old Assembly and the National Assembly buildings, which are currently in the concept and viability stages. In the initiation stage, the end-user needs were affirmed, and the professional teams were given a brief. To this effect, existing documents and concepts from recent studies were shared with them. The professional team retrieved existing plans from other sources and conducted a benchmarking exercise with other parliaments. They prepared pre-feasibility reports that outlined their understanding of the brief and defined the scope of work, schedule of surveys, and investigations, including a programme.”





African News Agency