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The department of public works and infrastructure is not lying down in the face of accusations that it was negligent in its maintenance of parliament and that this could have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire which ripped through parliamentary buildings on Sunday and Monday.

Its acting director-general Imtiaz Fazel insisted in a statement on Friday that the parliamentary buildings were assessed annually by the City of Cape Town’s fire and rescue unit as part of preparations for the state of the nation address (Sona) which usually takes place in February. One report from the city said additional signage, fire panels and phones were in need of repair in the Old Assembly building ...

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