Rocklands civic centre was transformed into the Western Cape provincial parliament (WCPP) chambers to host the opening of the provincial parliament and the State of the Province Address (Sopa).The event took place on Thursday 20 February with the official Sopa debate and response taking place on Friday 21 February at the same venue (read more on page 10).This was a historic occasion as the region was the first to host a sitting of the provincial parliament outside its Wale Street home (“ Plain to host parliament”, People’s Post, 28 January). Speaker of the house, Masizole Mnqasela, announced the decision to bring the official sitting of parliament to the community in January after a motion to host the opening outside the legislature was tabled in December last year. “The initiative forms part of a wider commitment by the sixth parliament to put the people of the province at the centre of what it does. “The intention is that, over the remainder of the term, the provincial parliament will be hosting such events in all the regions of the province,” says Mnqasela.In the period leading up to the opening and address, various standing committees of the WCPP conducted special oversight visits in the Mitchell’s Plain area.“It is an honour to be delivering my State of the province address in front of this community, and it is a special honour to be delivering it in this venue. The Rocklands civic centre is no stranger to historic events. It was here that the United Democratic Front (UDF) rose up against the evils of apartheid. It was here that people of all walks united behind the idea of a democratic South Africa in which everyone would be free. There is no better place than this place, a provincial heritage site, for us to host this historic Sopa – the first Sopa outside of the provincial parliament, right here in one of our communities,” said premier Alan Winde, at the event.The Sopa was preceded by a procession of men and women who work every day to keep residents of the province safe. The procession included Metro police, law enforcement, fire and rescue services, emergency services, Chrysalis Academy graduates, Working on Fire and local neighbourhood watch members.