Final inspection of red carpet ahead of SONA

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Parliament’s presiding officers will today conduct a final inspection on the readiness to host the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“The presiding officers will kick off their inspection at the National Council of Provinces where processions of the Judiciary, Premiers of Provinces, and Speaker of Provincial Legislatures begin, to mark the pinnacle ceremony of all three arms of the state – the State of the Nation Address,” said Parliament on Tuesday.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson Thandi Modise, accompanied by their deputies and house chairpersons are expected to conduct a walk-about around the parliamentary precinct at 2pm.

The Presiding Officers will also receive a final briefing from the organisers of the SONA, as they walk along the path of processions and visit various critical nodal points within the Parliamentary precinct, including spaces dedicated for media accredited to cover SONA 2019.

The SONA is a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament called by the President of the Republic of South Africa, in terms of the Constitution, to account to the people and also outline a way-forward in broader government efforts to ensure a better life for all people in South Africa.

At the end of the inspection presiding officers will engage the media on their impressions and understanding.  

In the run-up to the SONA, President Cyril Ramaphosa also conducted a walkabout of the Parliamentary precinct on Tuesday.

This as the Presidency said it hopes that the decorum of Parliament will be upheld on Thursday, following a threat by an opposition party to disrupt the address.

In addition, Parliament has advised motorists and pedestrians of temporary road closures as well as parking restrictions in and around Parliament ahead of the SONA. 

President Ramaphosa will on Thursday deliver the SONA during a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the NCOP at 7pm. -