Fire Parliament Cape Town South Africa
Firefighters work among the smoke after a fire broke out in the Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – A blaze erupted at the South African parliament early on Sunday, with flames bursting from the roof of a building and a plume of smoke that could be seen from miles away, and after several hours firefighters had partially contained the fire.

SA parliament fire cape town 2
Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula is saddened by the fire at Parliament. Photo: SA Parliament (Twitter)
Fire Parliament Cape Town South Africa
Firefighters work after a fire broke out in the Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

By mid-morning, smoke was still billowing from one of the several buildings that make up the parliament complex in the legislative capital, Cape Town.

“The fire has been contained in the Old Wing. Firefighters are currently trying to control the fire in the New Wing, where the fire has affected the National Assembly Chamber,” parliament said in a statement.

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Photo: Twitter / SA Parliament

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille told reporters there were no reports of any injuries. The cause of the blaze was not yet known.


Jean-Pierre Smith, a Cape Town mayoral committee member responsible for safety and security, told reporters that firefighters had detected cracks on the wall and the roof in one area had collapsed.

Fire Parliament Cape Town South Africa
Firefighters work after a fire broke out in the Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Fire Parliament Cape Town South Africa
Firefighters work after a fire broke out in the Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Fire Parliament Cape Town South Africa
Smoke rises from a burning building in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2, 2022, in this picture obtained from social media. Rowan Spazzoli/via REUTERS

Some 60 firefighters and 12 fire-fighting vehicles and pieces of equipment, including a sky lift hydraulic platform, were on site trying to contain the fire, he said.

Thick smoke billowed from the roof of the National Assembly building and from the entrance as emergency services sprayed water inside.

The fire started in an office complex and spread towards a gym just before 6 a.m.

(Reporting by Shafiek Tassiem in Cape Town and Nqobile Dludla in JohannesburgAdditional reporting by Wendell Roelf in Cape Town, Jahnavi Nidumolu in BengaluruWriting by Neil Fullick and Nqobile Dludla Editing by Kim Coghill and Frances Kerry)

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