SONA a key event, says Parliament

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pretoria –The State of the Nation Address is a key event on the national calendar, says Parliament.

Parliament will be hosting President Jacob Zuma, when he delivers his first State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of the two Houses of the fifth democratic Parliament, on Tuesday evening.

In a year, where there is a General Election there are two State of the Nation Addresses – one in February and another one after the election and the establishment of a new Parliament.

“This particular address is especially significant for various other important reasons. Among these is that it comes a day after the historic Youth Day, June 16, and that we have now entered our second decade of democracy,” said Parliament in a statement.

The date, 16 June, marks the anniversary of the Soweto Uprisings which tragically ended with hundreds of young people killed by the apartheid government, when they protested against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

The President’s address on Tuesday will again be delivered at 7pm as this has enabled many more people to follow proceedings, to form an opinion about government’s plans and to engage with these plans.

“This has served to deepen, even more, the role of Parliament as a platform for public consideration of issues,” it said.

The State of the Nation Address also provides Parliament with the opportunity to enhance its oversight responsibility, to identify key aspects of the law-making and oversight programme for the coming period and to plan how to facilitate public involvement in this work.

Parliament’s theme for this year is “20 years of a democratic Parliament”

The theme aims to capture the essence of Parliament’s focus in exercising its responsibilities. Our theme for this year … reflects a milestone in our democracy.”

Parliament will also host a debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address on Wednesday and Thursday. This will be followed by the President’s response to the debate on 20 June. –

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