Joint Statement By Parliament And Nehawu On Fire Outbreak At Parliament
This afternoon the Presiding Officers of Parliament, represented by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and a delegation of NEHAWU, led by its President, Mr Mike Shingange, held an urgent meeting following the fire incident that broke out two days ago. The meeting follows unfortunate public tensions since the outbreak of the fire relating to matters of security, occupational health and safety.
As a way forward, it was agreed that a space is to be created for further engagement on all issues of concern and to cease with public strife, which parties concurred that it was not helpful to the distressing fire situation at the precinct of Parliament. Further meetings in this regard will be scheduled.
There was an urgent obligation confronting all key stakeholders in Parliament to decisively deal with the fire incident, to put in place contingency measures and to implement the business continuity plan to keep Parliament working and fulfilling its obligations under the Constitution.
The concerns expressed by NEHAWU, including the report on the occupational health safety report, which it is understood was submitted to the Accounting Officer of Parliament, will be brought to the attention of the Presiding Officers with immediate effect.
Any further information that NEHAWU is in possession of regarding occupational safety and health as well as parliamentary security, will form part of the ongoing internal inquiry and must also be handed over to the investigation process by various authorities including the team of experts that are currently at Parliament.
The Presiding Officers of Parliament will ensure that no stone is left unturned in both external and internal investigations on the circumstances pertaining to the fire outbreak. As matters stand, there is no conclusive evidence or outcome indicating the cause of the fire, as investigations are ongoing.
NEHAWU and Parliament leadership committed to work together in the interest of Parliament and the people of South Africa to strive to resolve areas of disagreement and address the issues of concern raised by the union leadership.
Parties also commit to work together in the aftermath of the fire destruction to deal with the situation collaboratively, including assessing and devising means of ensuring that the business of Parliament continues uninterrupted.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.