Western Cape legislature chambers asbestos free in time for State of the Province Address

15 February 2017 - 18:51 By Aphiwe Deklerk

The Western Cape legislature has finally been given a clean bill of health after an asbestos scare forced officials out of the building.

Anthophyllite asbestos
Anthophyllite asbestos

The legislature's chamber shut for six months while intensive work was done. House sittings had to be moved to the smaller City of Cape Town council chambers on 44 Wale Street.

The problem started when a roof of an unused office in the building collapsed exposing asbestos in August last year.

“Our chamber has been cleared. I got the report to indicate that the work has been done and we are good to go. So‚ we will indeed host our State of the Province Address on Friday at our chamber‚” said speaker Sharna Fernandez.

  • Cosatu threatens law suit against De Lille over asbestos exposureIn an open letter to Mayor Patricia De Lille and Cape Town City Manager Achmat Ebrahim‚ Coosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich claims that the City did not follow the correct procedure in removing and dumping asbestos at Athlone Power Station. 

She said the provincial department of public works was responsible for the work. She is expected a report containing the technical details on the problem from the department.

“The air is clean and there is no evidence‚ no pliable asbestos‚ so we would like to kick-off our state of the province on a good note‚” she added.

Fernandez said there were several logistical problems when they moved out of their chambers. Members‚ for example‚ had to dart across the road to attend various meetings at venues belonging to the city.

She lauded public works for finishing the ''challenging project'' in good time.

Speaking about the State of the Province Address preparations‚ James Retief‚ legislature spokesman‚ said they had budgeted R 107 950 for Friday’s event. A total of R75 200 will be used for catering and the rest will be for floral arrangements‚ photography‚ parking‚ audio-visuals and sign-language interpreters.

“The Western Cape Provincial Parliament will provide tea and coffee to guests before the State of the Province Address and basic‚ light refreshments for approximately 330 people‚ including members‚ dignitaries and other guests‚ following the adjournment of the House‚” he said.

“The normal security arrangements will be in place. These arrangements will cause no disruption to the residents of Cape Town or normal traffic flow.”

- TMG Digital/The Times