Firefighters were called to the scene just after 5.00 local time. Fire appeared in the oldest parliamentary building of the complex. It is located near St. George’s Cathedral, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an icon of the fight against apartheid, was held on Saturday.
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As the minister of public works and former mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, informed journalists, the fire is already under control, but the fight against the fire continues.
“The roof is on fire, the building of the National Assembly itself is on fire,” a spokesman for the city’s emergency services told AFP.
Cracks in the walls of the burning building were noticed, so it is possible that it may collapse. There is no information that anyone was injured by the fire. Its cause is not known yet. A preliminary report indicates that the fire started in office premises.
This is the second fire in Cape Town in a year
Cape Town is the seat of the South African Parliament, including the lower house – the National Assembly and the upper house – the National Council of Provinces. The government is based in Pretoria.
The Cape Town parliamentary complex consists of three parts. The oldest building was completed in 1884, the others were built in the 1920s and 1980s.
The previous major fire broke out in Cape Town last April. He destroyed part of the library of the local university that houses a unique collection of African archives.