MID-TERM BUDGET | R2bn to fix gutted parliamentary precinct

Thabo Mokone Parliamentary editor
Parliament was gutted by a fire that ruined its infrastructure. File photo.
Parliament was gutted by a fire that ruined its infrastructure. File photo.
Image: Moloto Mothapo via Twitter

Finance minister Enoch Godongwana has set aside R2bn for the rebuilding of parliament over the next three years.

He announced this in the National Assembly on Wednesday when he tabled his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS).

“We are working closely with the presiding officers of parliament to restore and rebuild our parliament. Over the medium-term expenditure framework we have made allowance for approximately R2bn for rebuilding parliament.”

Godongwana has also given parliament R180m to immediately finance costs to secure temporary shelter for some of its sittings as the rebuild programme was expected to take several years to complete.

The parliamentary complex was gutted by fire in January this year when an intruder, Zandile Mafe, allegedly set it on fire.

Mafe’s alleged arson destroyed key parliamentary buildings that house sittings of the legislature such as the National Assembly chamber, the old assembly chamber and scores of offices used by parliamentary staff.

The fire also ruined other critical parliamentary infrastructure such as audiovisual facilities and has forced the institution to permanently operate through a hybrid model of virtual and physical sittings.

For other sittings of the house, such as the state of the nation address and the budget speeches, parliament finds temporary shelter at the Cape Town City Hall at a cost of more than R8m per session.

Godongwana delivered his budget speech from the city hall.


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