Opening of Parly: Not a leaf out of place

2012-02-09 14:50

Long red carpets await President Jacob Zuma and the many guests on the tree-lined Parliament Street.

Zuma is expected to deliver his state of the nation address at 7pm today.
Gardeners have been hard at work during the week, trimming hedges and scattering brightly coloured flowers in various beds and pots.

By noon today, many workers found reprieve in the shade. They included four flower arrangers, who had installed 70 arrangements in the National Assembly.
“We’ve been here since early setting up, but have thankfully done most of the work. Our arrangements include the proudly South African Protea flower as well as roses and anthuriums,” Sophia Felix said.

Colleague Maria Mehl said: “Zuma, if you are listening, the petrol price and cost of living must come down.”

Kay Burns wanted the president to improve the state of government hospitals.
Outside the gates to Parliament Street, workers balanced carefully on a ladder to clean the shutters of the neighbouring slave lodge.

Every entrance to Parliament’s precinct was being monitored and metal barriers had been set up.

Curious tourists leaned over the barriers in the neighbouring Company Gardens to see what was going on. One man stuck his video camera through a gate.

In Plein Street, uniformed school children spilled out of buses and filed up neatly to enter the building while chattering excitedly.
A total of 318 pupils had been invited to form part of the junior guard of honour. They came from secondary schools in Athlone, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Kuils River. The rest were from each of the nine provinces.

On the other side of Parliament, near the Good Hope building, food and drinks for the soirée were being unloaded from refrigerated trucks.
A lavish meal will be served in a marquee erected on a parking lot across the road.

Worker Arnold Abrahams helped to unload boxes of Sauvignon Blanc and fruit juice. “We’ve just unloaded 20 cases of this wine and 103 cases of fruit juice, and I can tell you now there is a lot more being unpacked elsewhere.”

Abrahams said he was unemployed, but was grateful to have the delivery job for the day. “I am so glad to be here. Did you know I waitered for (former president) Thabo Mbeki at the Waterfront and had my picture taken with (Western Cape premier) Helen Zille?

“Please Zuma, I hope you have a promise for us to make corruption come right and get rid of poverty,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.