ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. (Thulani Mbele)
Cyril Ramaphosa's presidential inauguration at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane will be witnessed by at least 32 000 members of the public who are expected to attend the ceremony at the home of Blue Bulls rugby on May 25.
At a media briefing on the readiness of the inauguration, Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma provided a break-down of those expected to attend. She also gave a rundown of the day's other logistics.
Who will attend
Of the 32 000 public seats available, 22 000 are expected from Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Free State.
The remining 10 000 spaces have been made available for walk-ins on the day. They will be able to apply for accreditation at Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies).
In addition, Dlamini-Zuma said 4 500 guests from various sectors of society, including Parliamentarians, members of the judiciary, ministers and deputy ministers, Premiers, MECs and executive mayors, had been invited.
"We have also invited members of the diplomatic corps, religious sector, etc," she added.
In terms of heads of state, all leaders from the SADC region have been invited as well as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is also the chairperson of the African Union.
"The guests also include representatives from the continental regional economic blocks, former liberation movements, fraternal countries, the African Union, and the United Nations.
"Eminent" persons and former presidents of South Africa have also been invited.
For the first time, the inauguration will not be held at the Union Buildings.
Dlamini-Zuma said the decision to change the venue was a cost-cutting measure, which also explains the limited number of invitations to heads of state from around the world.
"We chose the stadium because it is more cost effective compared to using the Union Buildings, which carries high preparation costs, in particular, the preparation of the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre. In line with the government's austerity measures, we were happy to go with least costly option.
She said the government would not be spending more than R120 million on the 2019 inauguration. Former president Jacob Zuma's swearing in ceremony cost around R240m.
"The other reason for electing the stadium is ... to be as inclusive as possible by allowing the main events of the inauguration of the President-Elect to take place in one venue."
Accreditation, park rides and closures
While road closures have not yet been announced, Dlamini-Zuma said: "Invited guests received inauguration information packs and should refer to the aide memoire for details of the accreditation, and park-and-ride facilities."
Walk-ins for general access must get accreditation from Affies on May 25. The accreditation point will open from 03:00 and will close at 07:00.
For those driving, there will be a park-and-ride for the general access to the stadium from the Tshwane Events Centre to the accreditation centre at Affies.
"The shuttles will commence from 03:00 am to 06:30."
She said the stadium's gates will be opened at 03:00 on the day.
Dlamini-Zuma said there will be different public viewing sites across all provinces. A list of these viewing sites is available on the government website (www.gov.za\inaguaration 2019).
Order of proceedings
The official programme for the inauguration, which will be held under the theme, Together celebrating democracy – Renewal and growth for a better South Africa - is expected start at 10:55.
The programme will be co-directed by Speaker of the fifth Parliament Baleka Mbete, and ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
"The president-elect will take the Oath of Office as part of the swearing in ceremony performed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and then proceed to sign the swearing - in certificate.
"Thereafter, the president will take up position for the national salute.
"After the rendition of the national anthem; the president will continue with his address to the nation.
The address will be followed by a fly-by by the SA Air Force and SAA, Dlamini-Zuma said.
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