All set for Zuma's address

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cape Town - Members of the public have started making their way to Parliament ahead of President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address at 7pm tonight.

Teams of workers have begun laying the red carpet, which will run from the National Assembly down Parliament Street to the entrance behind the Slave Lodge.

Local media houses have set up mobile studios in the parliamentary precinct outside the National Assembly, in preparation for live broadcasts of tonight's proceedings.

There is a heavy police presence on the roads around Parliament, including Adderley and Plein streets.

Metal barriers have been erected on pavements along Adderley Street and other roads in anticipation of the arrival of the President and an estimated 1 500 people, including guests and dignitaries, as well as members of the public.

This year's State of the Nation address coincides with the 20th anniversary of former president Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

Photographic montages can be seen lining the walls of Parliament Street, depicting Madiba and various aspects of his life from the time he was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl on February 11, 1990.

Slogans like "icon of democracy" and "spirit of struggle" are displayed prominently, highlighting the various ideals represented by Mandela's life.