Photo: Reuters video keyframe

Following the speedy response to the devastating fire at South Africa’s Parliament in Cape Town today, the country’s (ANC) President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has heaped praise on the DA-led city and province.

Ramaphosa said of the response: “It does show that there are certain things that do work, even as we may think that the wheels are coming off, on everything. The fact that they (firefighters and emergency services) were here, in a short space of time, is something that we should be grateful for – that we do have one city that works, we do have a province that works, and we do have a government that works when the chips are down. And this is a demonstration of precisely that.”

Local columnist Gareth van Onselen tweeted that it was an “extraordinary admission” from the president, saying: “Well, that’s the DA’s next local government elections slogan sorted: ‘We do have one city that works.’ Cyril Ramaphosa.”

Ricardo Mackenzie, a member of the Western Cape Parliament, said: “We just get things done in the Western Cape even when the chips are down. ??”

DA MP Leon Schreiber wrote: “When it comes down to brass tacks, Cyril Ramaphosa admits that Parliament would have been in ‘ashes’ were it not for the fact that the DA turned Cape Town and Western Cape into the ‘one city and the one province that works’.”

WATCH President Ramaphosa says Cape Town is the one city that works

President Ramaphosa visited the scene of the blaze at the SA Parliament, where he met with the emergency crews and firefighters.

He said the country should be grateful to “these men and women, in uniform, who go into the most dangerous places we can think of, risking their limbs and their lives, so we thank them.”

The fire caused extensive damage, collapsing a roof and gutting an entire floor in one building, with firefighters partially containing the blaze after several hours.

The blaze began just before 6 a.m. on Sunday. One suspect is being held in custody for questioning.