Parliament set for sticky opening

2011-02-10 14:36

Cape Town - Humidity and temperatures in the upper twenties look set to make the 2011 opening of Parliament in Cape Town a somewhat sticky affair.

Shortly after 13:00 on Thursday - scant hours ahead of the arrival of dignitaries, diplomats and politicians - grey clouds were gathering over the city.

While organisers are no doubt hoping the opening will not prove a wet one, weather forecasts suggest there is a 30% chance of showers for the Mother City.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary precinct was a hive of activity, with officials and workers putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the opening.

19:00 deadline

Numerous small vans and trucks were offloading gear and equipment, while workmen taped down electric cables, erected barriers and made preparations to roll out the long red carpet on which MPs and others will walk up to the National Assembly building.

All those attending have to be in the chamber well before 19:00, when President Jacob Zuma delivers his third State of the Nation address since assuming office in May 2009.

The theme for this year's opening - according to a briefing document released by Parliament earlier this week - is "celebrating the legacy of freedom through strengthening the link between Parliament and the people".

The event is being held on the eve, exactly 21 years ago, of former president Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

Ceremonial proceedings

It is the second time the opening has been held in the evening, in a break from long tradition that organisers say will "enable as many South Africans as possible to be part of this major event on our country's political calendar".

Millions of people are expected to watch Zuma make his address on live television broadcasts.

Ceremonial proceedings planned for the afternoon include a 21-gun salute by a battery of the Cape Field Artillery, and a salute flight by four Pilatus Astra aircraft of the SA Air Force.

There have been numerous calls made on Zuma, by political parties and others, urging him to clearly spell out how he plans to take the country forward.

Many of these voices want more detail on how government will tackle priorities such as unemployment, education, health, poverty and crime.

  • BigMoose - 2011-02-10 14:49

    Please, please dear God, send down a well-directed bolt of lightning.

      Paul - 2011-02-10 14:53

      followed by the plague, locusts , rats and an Angel. This lot deserves it more and more each day.

      Smaal - 2011-02-10 15:01

      I agree but would add a big meteorite just to be on the safe side and maybe a category 5 tornado to clean up afterwards and make sure the nobody was missed.

      watalife - 2011-02-10 15:27

      How lekker it would be just imagine the stench.

      Shistirrer - 2011-02-10 16:27

      No worries, the majority will probably be bored to death by JZ's speech. The rest will die laughing at the empty promises.

  • Chris - 2011-02-10 14:51

    great "celebrating the legacy of freedom" - that sentence is all it takes to psyched the "people" so that all they will be celebrating is the old boring "freedom" & strugle - what do you remember of what your President said - eich yes that Freedom is ours Power to the people ayoba!

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-02-10 14:55

    Would love it if God in his infinite wisdom, (and his gift of a 30% chance of showers) pi$$ed on these plebs parade. And what a parade it will be, Morbidly Obese trolls in hideous outfits, each one looking smugger than the next one, jostling for 'airtime'. Helen, Patricia, Buthelezi etc - you are excluded from my comment.

  • 123online123 - 2011-02-10 15:04

    Sticky and smelly... UUGGHH.

  • coolwaynie - 2011-02-10 15:31

    The whiff of Life Buoy and Chicken Licken...mmmmm.

  • karin - 2011-02-10 15:43

    Really, if this is the attitude, how on earth are we ever going to get it right in this dear country of ours. It IS possible, with a bit positiveness, to live in peace. (And I am a non-black) Mindshift, people! Karin

  • warr - 2011-02-10 15:47

    Wait until Malema joins the parli parade... See the bling and hope to hear the bang!

  • warr - 2011-02-10 15:48

    okay, maybe the bang bit was uncalled for.

      Shistirrer - 2011-02-10 16:03


  • Terence - 2011-02-10 15:54

    Interesting that the SAAF can only muster four Pilatus Trainers for a fly past. The 3 qualified pilots for the Grippens must be on day off!!

  • Faansie - 2011-02-10 15:55

    I find the whole dam thing pretty much hilarious.QAnd a great embarresment to uot country

  • mike881 - 2011-02-10 15:59

    I wonder how many of Zuma's "official" as well as unofficial wives will be attending the opening? Do they have enough room in parly to accomodate them all??

  • Peter - 2011-02-10 16:58

    Can't Scotty beam the whole of parlament up to Mars or somewhere at 7.00pm tonite.

  • nOs.gUrU - 2011-02-10 18:39

    HA! And I thought the satate of the church address was titled "salvation" since (JZ) Jesus Zuma is now promising heaven - Wat did I miss!!

  • JuluisMalema - 2011-02-11 06:42

    Sticky Or Stinky???? I know a lot of tsotsies thrown in one hot room sweating kan stink bad, we know from going to lisence centre and Collages and all those places.

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