Plans in full swing for Presidential Inauguration

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pretoria - Government says plans are in full swing for the Presidential Inauguration on Saturday.

The event, which will take place at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings will attract thousands of dignitaries, including former  Heads of State.

“Government has thus far received confirmations from 26 Heads of State and 11 Prime Ministers and/or Vice-Presidents. This equates to a total of 37 Heads of State and Government who will attend.

“Also in attendance will be four former Heads of State, 14 Eminent Persons and 118 foreign ambassadors resident in South Africa,” Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO Phumla Williams said on Monday.

Regarding the budget allocation, Williams indicated that the expenditure will be less than what has been spent on previous inaugurations for different presidents.

In a media briefing last week, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane, who is the chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee coordinating the 2014 Presidential Inauguration, said the inauguration had been budgeted for within various government departments.

“Departments have been encouraged to cut out any expenses that can be avoided, so as to be sensitive to the austerity measures applied throughout government. Accountability in this regard will follow the normal accounting procedures,” said Williams.

Logistics

Proceedings on Saturday will start with invited guests and members of the public arriving at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre and the Southern Lawns at the Union Buildings from as early as 8am.

People will also be transported from different provinces across the country to witness the event.

There will be park-and-ride facilities for invited guests and VIPs at Rietondale Park on Soutpansberg Road, which will operate from 5am.

A park-and-ride for members of the public will be at the Tshwane Events Centre.

Government has indicated that there will be no private vehicle access to the Union Buildings or the area immediately surrounding the venue.

This means that those residing around the Union Buildings and Bryntirion area will be asked to present their municipal accounts – or certified copies thereof – at the traffic control points.

“Even though the event is taking place on a weekend, Tshwane Metro Police will enforce the road closures and motorists are kindly requested to adhere to the arrangements made for this day,” Williams said.

Road closures

The road closures, concentrated in the area immediately surrounding the Union Buildings, are as follows:

From 6am on 21 May 2014 until 6pm on 26 May 2014: Wessels Street between Pretorius and Stanza Bopape Street.

From 6am on 23 May 2014 until 7pm on 24 May 2014: Government Avenue between Edmond Street and Blackwood Street; Madiba Street between Zeederberg Street and Stanza Bopape Street.

 From 10pm on 23 May 2014 until 7pm on 24 May 2014:

  • Edmond Street between Hamilton Street and Government Avenue;
  • Madiba Street between Hamilton and Zeederberg streets;
  • Zeederberg Street between Stanza Bopape and Madiba streets;
  • Government Avenue between Blackwood and Dumbarton streets;
  • Blackwood Street between Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue;
  • Pine Street between Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue;
  • Beckett Street between Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue;
  • East Avenue between Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue;
  • Eastwood Street between Stanza Bopape Street and Tom Jenkins Drive;
  • Lisdogan Avenue between Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue;
  • Balmoral Avenue between Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue;
  • Dumbarton Street between Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue;
  • Tom Jenkins Drive between Russell Eastwood streets; 

From 12am until 7pm on 24 May 2014

  • Hamilton Street between Soutpansberg Road and Pretorius Street;
  • Stanza Bopape Street between Steve Biko and Jan Shoba streets;
  • Madiba Street between Steve Biko and Hamilton streets;
  • Edmond Street between Steve Biko and Hamilton streets;
  • Leyds Street between Pretorius and Stanza Bopape streets;
  • Johan Street between Pretorius and Stanza Bopape streets;
  • Beckett Street between Pretorius and Stanza Bopape streets;
  • Eastwood Street between Pretorius and Stanza Bopape streets;
  • Wessels Street between Frances Baard and Park streets.

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.

Normal bus routes and public transport routes will be diverted as well on 24 May 2014.

Traffic control points will be set up at the following intersections:

  • Soutpansberg and Hamilton
  • Stanza Bopape and Hamilton
  • Stanza Bopape and Gordon
  • Soutpansberg and Gordon

Air traffic control 

Because of security, government has called on the aviation community to observe the following flight restrictions:

  • Temporary Restricted Military Air Space 1: one nautical mile around the Union Buildings from ground to 7 500 feet, from 06h00 until 18h00 on 24 May 2014;
  • Temporary Military Restricted Air Space 2:25 nautical miles around the Union Buildings from ground to Flight Level 460, excluding the CTR (Control Zone) of Oliver Tambo and Lanseria from 09h00 until 18h00 on 24 May 2014.

There will be close coordination between Air Traffic Navigation Services and the South African Air Force to ensure compliance, as well as to minimise the impact on civil aviation activities. 

However, during the times indicated, all air fields in the restricted air space in the above areas will be closed and no flights will be allowed to fly into or take off from these fields. 

“These restrictions will be in place for a limited period and government will appreciate the cooperation of the aviation community.”

Members of the public attending the occasion , at the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings, have been  advised that no alcohol, drugs, firearms,  weapons, bottles or cans will be allowed.

“Government would like to encourage all South Africans to be part of this momentous occasion in our country. Those who cannot attend will be able to follow proceedings on television and radio, or at 47 public viewing areas in the provinces,” Williams added. - SAnews.gov.za

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