Lights, camera, #SONA2019!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

What is a State of the Nation Address (SONA) without the red carpet?

Glitz, glamour and fashion gave the parliamentary precinct a facelift as Members of Parliament, representatives from the legislatures, and invited guests graced the red carpet ahead of the President’s address at 19:00. 

In a classic black bare shoulder dress with purple embellishments, Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams used the opportunity to highlight that her newly renamed department, Communications and Digital Technologies, will spearhead the country’s plans for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  

In an eye catching bright yellow dress, Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana expanded on her Minister’s point.

Kekana emphasized the importance of her department for the sixth administration.

“The issue of unemployed youth is very high on our agenda and because our department is responsible for digital technology, there is going to be a focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution by the President. 

“We think young people will have an opportunity to be innovative to make sure that they too participate in the 4IR and not become spectators,” said Kekana.

Asked about what is to be expected from the President’s address, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe simply said: “good news”.

Political parties also used their moment on the red carpet to air their expectations. 

“The primary issues are economic growth and creating jobs and focus on the SOEs,” said Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa. 

With June also being Pride Month, this year’s SONA also saw diversity being represented at the red carpet.

Theatre company Gate69 co-owner Luanna Shoufeld, together with Holly, Molly and Cathy, rocked a black and white drag queen ensemble.

“We are a theatre company based in Cape Town that accepts and welcomes people from all walks of life and celebrate diversity,” said Shoufeld. 

Rocking a maroon ensemble and colour coordinating with her brother Sandile, Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile van Damme said her outfit is about supporting local designers from head to toe. 

Popular Xitsonga musician Benny Mayengani also graced the SONA red carpet wearing an Indian attire, which he said was sourced straight from India. -