All plans in place for opening of Parliament

2015-02-04 18:55
(Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town - No extraordinary security measures are being put in place for next week's opening of Parliament, its secretary Gengezi Mgidlana said on Wednesday.

Briefing the media on preparations for the 12 February opening, which includes President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address, he said security would be consistent with such a high-level event.

"In terms of safety and security, this is a high-level event. All three arms of the state are present... as well as various dignitaries. So security measures consistent with [this]... have been put in place by the security services."

Parliament's security staff were working with their security service counterparts to make sure the event went smoothly.

Responding to a question on whether reports of increased security for the event were correct, he responded: "If the question is are there extraordinary security measures, the answer is no."

Mgidlana said "appropriate security measures" were being provided.

Asked if there were special plans to deal with disruptions by MPs, Mgidlana declined to be drawn on what he described as possibilities.

"We have planned for a successful event... You are talking about possibilities... we can't be planning for possibilities that may or may not happen."

The opening was a state event involving pomp and ceremony.

"You have all role-players playing their specific roles... as far as I know, you do not have a situation where any of the role-players are looking at usurping the roles of others."

The EFF, who have 25 MPs in the National Assembly, have threatened to disrupt Zuma's State of the Nation address, which he is set to deliver from 19:00 on the Thursday.

Mgidlana told reporters on Wednesday that the budget ceiling for the opening was R4m, in line with government's austerity measures.

"We have cut our budget by well over half."

Last year's openings - there were two - cost R9m and R4.6m, he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  politics  |  state of the nation 2015  |  parliament 2015

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