Presidency announces change in the usual time of the State of the Nation Address

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Presidency wishes to announce that at the request of HE President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Jacob Zuma to the Speaker of Parliament, the State of the Nation Address (SONA) will be delivered at 19h00 instead of 11h00 on the 11th February 2010.

In terms section 84(2) (d) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, read with Rule 7(1)(a) of the Joint Rules of Parliament of President Jacob Zuma has called for a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on the 11 February 2010.

The President changed the time to 19h00 to afford all South Africans, especially the workers, students and school children an opportunity to watch the proceedings in their homes after hours. The majority of workers do not have access to television sets at work, while students and school children are naturally unable to watch due to study commitments during the day when this is an important occasion for them as well.

President Zuma chose the date of 11 February in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of former President Nelson Mandela from prison. The day will bring all South Africans together to mark the defining moment in the history of the country, including the unbanning of organizations which had happened on the 2nd of February.

The SONA will celebrate national unity and reconciliation, especially during a seminal year for the country in which South Africa hosts the FIFA soccer world cup.

For further enquiries contact Vincent Magwenya on 072 715 0024

18 JANUARY 2010