Parliament ready for SONA, with trimmed budget

2016-02-05 17:29
Parliament (File, News24)

Parliament (File, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Parliament is ready to host President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address (SONA)  with a smaller budget of R3.5m.

With the after-speech dinner scrapped and guest lists cut to save money, the extraordinary sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces would go ahead on Thursday evening.

Parliament secretary Gengezi Mgidlana said the SONA was for Zuma to explain government's plans for the year. 

For two days after that political parties would debate the plan.

The SONA would be followed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget.

On Friday, the first of many reception tents was being erected and fake grass being unrolled around the parliamentary precinct.

The imbongi had been organised. This year he was from KwaZulu-Natal, according to a rotation system.

School children for the guard of honour had been arranged and ex-presidents and their deputies invited. They would include FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki.

Media facilities costing around R475 000 of the budget were being set up. Last year, a signal jammer was used to block cellphone and internet reception in the House, to the outrage of opposition MPs and journalists.

Mgidlana said there would be no such incidents this year, but the State Security Agency would be involved in the planning the event because of its magnitude.

EFF MPs were thrown out of the National Assembly last year for raising points of order to demand that Zuma ''pay back the money''.

The broadcast feed from GCIS stayed focused on the Speaker Baleke Mbete and NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise, instead of capturing the eviction.

On Friday, EFF leader Julius Malema said this year they would not let Zuma speak without interruption, as they wanted him to explain why he fired finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December.

Parliament's head of security and her deputy were still on suspension, but this was not expected to affect safety during the event, he said.

Activists Seskona, and a group of students might hold a protest march parallel to the event, but this had not been confirmed yet with the City of Cape Town, which gave permission for marches.

So far journalists had submitted 800 applications for accreditation.

So far, 727 had been granted. Last year, 600 journalists covered the event.

''We are ready to host a successful event for South Africa,'' said Mgidlana.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics  |  state of the nation 2016  |  parliament 2016

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

TUT extends recess

46 minutes ago

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/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.