News24

Red carpet, regal welcome awaits Zuma

2012-02-09 15:30

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma will likely feel like a king coming home as he notices the many preparations for the opening of Parliament and his much-awaited State of the Nation address later on Thursday.

Long red carpets await him and the many guests on the tree-lined Parliament street, with not a leaf out of place. It is along this avenue he will walk to the National Assembly wing to deliver his speech.

Gardeners have been hard at work during the week, trimming hedges and scattering brightly coloured flowers in various beds and pots.

By noon on Thursday, many workers found reprieve in the shade. They included four flower arrangers, who had installed 70 arrangements in the 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.

Zuma's address is expected to start at 19:00.

Comments
  • Youefoh - 2012-02-09 15:33

    lol.

      Max - 2012-02-09 16:50

      6 Million Ront for this. To my shack dwellers. Unfortunately you will have to remain shack dwellers for a while longer.Perhaps when Swaziland and Cuba pay their loans back maybe then we can build you some houses.

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-09 15:36

    Wonder how many shadow cars will accompany President Zuma to the State of the Nation address? He should have at least two.

  • Silver - 2012-02-09 15:43

    Wonder what is on at the cinemas?

  • malcolm - 2012-02-09 15:44

    The only thing this fool is waiting for is Chivas Regal. The state of the nation speech is written by someone with intellect, and will be designed to smokescreen the true state of the nation, which is basically chaos.

      Irene - 2012-02-09 15:51

      Never a truer word spoken.

      Vegi - 2012-02-09 16:43

      Malcolm, if you agree with Irene (Pink & Proud, Proud of Pink, Proudly Pink, Idiot, Imbecile) then you must know that you have no brains.

      Irene - 2012-02-09 18:39

      Watching them waddle down the red carpet makes realise they're actually doing the walk of shame. It's like glorifying a bunch of corrupt criminals. Sies! Shame on you ANC.

      Irene - 2012-02-09 18:40

      Vegi ~ Actually if you open your eyes you'll see that it's me that's agreeing with Malcolm and not the other way around. Wake up fool.

  • Bryan - 2012-02-09 15:45

    Mr Prez... Instead of all the pomp and ceremony Horses***t that you and your cronies feel entitled to, why not actually do something constructive for a change and stop blowing hot air and empty promises!!

  • dlawre30 - 2012-02-09 15:46

    What??? No Johnny Black?

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 16:26

      Rikesh.. it was kinda funny the first time. Second time.. not so much. Mkay?

  • Brett - 2012-02-09 15:46

    What is the king going to do without his jester Juju?

  • Josh - 2012-02-09 15:49

    Red carpet.... people are starving. That is all.

  • Anton - 2012-02-09 15:50

    I wonder which of his friends daughters he is going to pomp tonight? I hear that Vavi has a nice 19yr old daughter, perhaps her?

      Josh - 2012-02-09 15:57

      Maybe we can get some virgins to dance for him and he can pick. Isn't that what a king gets thee days?

      Dianne - 2012-02-09 16:00

      She might be a bit too old for him ;o)

  • JohhnyBGood - 2012-02-09 15:52

    How very interesting

  • Dianne - 2012-02-09 15:58

    It's just going to be same sh*t, different day. More empty promises and lies. Yaaawwwwnnnn. Thank goodness I have a few good DVD's to watch tonight. I hope he remembers to drink his beetroot juice tonight!

  • phathuchicos - 2012-02-09 16:00

    no written speech allowed. ZUMA: hmmm....ehhhh...let me think, da matta is...ehh...eish.

      Mike - 2012-02-09 16:06

      LOL!!! The Azanian - you forgot his standard Zap-Sign....

  • Mike - 2012-02-09 16:05

    Gosh this self importance is just incredible - save the money and spend it on the poor, education, improvement of our health services, or anything that matters... What a chop! Are his wives going to fall asleep again - I know I probably will... !

  • The-third - 2012-02-09 16:10

    Ludicrous waste of money.

      Gerhard - 2012-02-09 16:17

      OMG, THEY WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG!!!! There is a third force out there....

  • tdk25 - 2012-02-09 16:18

    Meanwhile in Kwa-Mashu residents have not had running water for 5 years...

      Silver - 2012-02-09 16:26

      ... but they get to watch ZJ on TV.....

      braamc - 2012-02-09 17:43

      Don't expect any services soon

      STYLEbudd - 2012-02-09 21:18

      Then wake up and vote DA - problem solved!

      Mduduzi - 2012-02-09 21:29

      They haven't had water since the apartheid era did you have anything to say back then?

  • Irene - 2012-02-09 16:18

    Oh dear, it seems like the moderator thinks the fat females are elegant and chose to remove my honest and truthful comment. Shame, was it too close to the bone?

      Dianne - 2012-02-09 16:31

      It sure seems that way. Probably somebody complained. I however am very pleased I got to read it and laugh my head off.

      Bryan - 2012-02-09 16:31

      The moderator is probably one of JZ's cuzzies:-)

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 16:35

      It was brilliant. I'm glad I read it before it was taken down. Never before has anyone used the word "waddle" in a more appropriate way.

      Irene - 2012-02-09 18:41

      Forget looking at the dresses. Check out the fat hanging over the shoes. Looks like the Gauteng premier nearly lost her wig!

  • Pierresdt - 2012-02-09 16:18

    If the President and the ANC are sincere in there strive to create jobs they shall unshackle the economy by relaxing the labor lour and abandoning BEE that the best person for a position can be chosen.

      Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-02-09 17:44

      So what if there are two qualified, experienced candidates, one black and one white, who must get the job?

  • Mouldy - 2012-02-09 16:19

    "One man stuck his video camera through a gate." Man I'm glad it was his video camera.

  • Vegi - 2012-02-09 16:30

    I am not looking forward to the lousy and pathetic speech.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-02-09 16:34

    More promises and lies. Glorified with extravagant spending.

  • Vegi - 2012-02-09 17:10

    Dear Mr Zuma South Africa is faced with all sorts of problems, some caused by your inept leadership as well as useless civil servants. We love your government but we hate its activities. We sometimes find ourselves in an ackward situation where we have to agree with your detractors and enemies of democracy that your government is useless and is characterized by general ineptitude and lack of direction. When our people are crying for service delivery, they are not talking about individual benefits. They want things that a government is supposed to provide to make life easier for citizens:- your reliable and affordable public transport your reliable water supplies your reliable energy supplies Your properly maintained road networks Your functioning public health system your properly functioning education system etc, etc You have dissappointed in all of the above. You have tried to curry favour with all and sundry and refused to stay firm, with disastrous consequences. In conjuction with Sadtu, you have destroyed South Africa's education system. You have molly coddled lazy and incompetent public officials and only acted against some when it suits your political ambitions. You have shown complete lack of passion for a growing South Africa. You seem to have no problems with a few individuals feathering their nests at the expense of the rest. My hope is that your speech signals a change of direction towards a working and growing South Africa. Yours Truly VEGETARIAN

      ISO - 2012-02-09 17:27

      Vegi its easy to talk the talk, but can he walk the walk? And the answer is NO! Yes some progress has been made in SA, but at a snails pase. If you have objectives, make it happen!!!

  • ISO - 2012-02-09 17:22

    Why is parliament opening so late? These guys should work 365 days a year!

  • braamc - 2012-02-09 17:42

    Off course, they think they are god. Talk talk talk

  • Sinudeity - 2012-02-09 17:45

    Dang, got tickets for Star Wars 3D :P

  • Malcolm Jaftha - 2012-02-09 17:47

    he must be welcomed with condoms

  • Scouter - 2012-02-09 18:55

    "Payday for Zimbabwe’s civil servants has been postponed by at least five days following a cash shortage in the country" Just an aside & lifted from another news site - what the ANC has in store for you too all you 'Party' goers, no matter what is promised this evening.

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