Moment of Pride for South Africa

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pretoria – Tomorrow’s fifth Presidential Inauguration, in which President-elect Jacob Zuma will take his oath of office for the next five years, is set to dazzle with all the world’s eyes focused on the Union Buildings, for what is promised to be a memorable event.

Adding to the pomp and prestigious ceremony, the South African Government will roll out the red carpet to more than 40 Heads of State and/or Government, Vice-Presidents/Deputy Heads of State, Prime Ministers, and Former Heads of State and/or Government.

Presidents who will grace the occasion include that of Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Lesotho, Mozambique and Nigeria. Fourteen Eminent Persons and 118 foreign ambassadors resident in South Africa will also be present with South African royalty being among the special guests.  

To add to the celebrations, at least 20 000 people, who are expected to gather at the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings will be wowed by performances by various leading artists, including the likes of Mafikizolo, Zahara, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Kurt Darren  and  Chomee  and witness displays by the South African Air Force.

Four thousand five hundred people will be accommodated in the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre.

Tomorrow’s ceremony comes as South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy. A few weeks ago, the country held successful general elections, in which the African National Congress (ANC) emerged as the victorious party.

Minister Collins Chabane, Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the 2014 Presidential Inauguration, extended a hearty welcome on Friday morning to the many international guests who will grace the event, and thanked them for their interest shown. 

“The Inter-Ministerial Committee is pleased with the state of readiness and we are confident that this will be a moment of pride for all South Africans and a memorable gathering for the many leaders from various continents who have confirmed their attendance,” he said.

Minister Chabane said Government would like to encourage all South Africans to be part of this momentous occasion, and called on citizens to take a few hours out of their time tomorrow to devote attention to this special occasion.

He said children and the youth “should be encouraged to observe this event as part of building social cohesion and developing appreciation for what makes us special as a nation.”

Those who cannot attend will be able to follow proceedings on television and radio, or at 47 public viewing areas in the provinces.

Order of Proceedings

Programme Directors for the event will be Minister of Justice, Jeff Radebe, the ANC’s Jessie Duarte and the Deputy Secretary-General of ANC in Parliament.

Minister Chabane said invited guests, who will be transported from the park-and-ride facility along Soutpansberg Road, Rietondale, will arrive at the Amphitheatre between 5am and 8am.

Heads of State and/or Government will arrive at the Union Buildings from 10.30am.

The Inauguration Ceremony proper will commence at 11am, with inter-faith prayers and a recital of the Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa preceding the Swearing-In of the President by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The President will take the Oath of Office before signing the swearing-in certificate. He will then take the National Salute, before addressing the nation from the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre, as the country’s newly inaugurated President.

After a rendition of the National Anthem and a civilian fly past by South African Airways, the President will depart for the Southern Lawns for a brief address to the audience at this venue.

The President will leave the Southern Lawns for a Presidential State Luncheon at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House, to which Heads of State and/or Government and VVIPs and VIPs have been invited.

The programme for the day will be concluded just before 3pm.

Park and Ride and Road Closures

People who want to be part of the Southern Lawns event are advised to make use of the public park-and-ride facility at the Tshwane Events Centre in the west of the city, from which buses will begin shuttling visitors from 6am.

Normal bus routes and public transport routes will be diverted as well tomorrow with traffic control points being set up at the following intersections:

-       Soutpansberg and Hamilton

-       Stanza Bopape and Hamilton

-       Stanza Bopape and Gordon

-       Soutpansberg and Gordon

Residents living in affected streets are asked to choose the shortest route or closest entry and exit points for access because Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue will be a traffic-free zone.

Residents are required to produce recent municipal bills as part of proof of identity.

Prohibited goods

Minister Chabane added that the public attending the occasion are advised that the following items are forbidden at the event:

-       Alcohol or drugs

-       Firearms or weapons

-       Bottles or cans   – SAnews.gov.za  

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