The presidency confirmed that plans were in place to host a successful, but minimalist, presidential inauguration to install Cyril Ramaphosa as the leader of South Africa.
As reported by Sowetan Live, minister of the presidency, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma detailed the costs involved in hosting this auspicious occasion that is taking place at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, in Pretoria, on Saturday, 25 May.
Cyril Ramaphosa moves ceremony to Loftus Versfeld
Earlier in the month, there were murmurs of displeasure from opposition political parties when it was announced that for the first time since the inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994, the occasion would be moved away from the Union Buildings.
According to the presidency, this was a gesture to the ordinary South Africans who wished to be part of the auspicious event. It is believed that the occasion will cost around R120-million to put together.
Dlamini-Zuma noted that this was a considerable budget cut, as the office of the president was “aware of the economic difficulty in this country.”
“The budget that we are going to spend on this inauguration is more than R100m less than what was spent in the previous inauguration,” she said.
Presidential inauguration: Who is invited?
Dlamini-Zuma revealed that only presidents from the South African Development Community (SADC region, as well as those who chair continental trade blocs have been invited.
A further 5 000 guests will also be in attendance, ranging from prominent members of Parliament, the judiciary, his Cabinet and members of the executive council, among others.
The 51 000-plus-seater is expected to be filled to capacity.
“We chose the stadium because it is more cost-effective than the Union Buildings‚ which carry high preparation costs‚, in particular, the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre‚” she added.
“Zuma had the most expensive inauguration” – Presidency
Dlamini-Zuma boasted that this time around, the government was more cautious with its spending. Former president, Jacob Zuma’s inauguration, she revealed, was in excess of R240-million.
“We had to ensure we don’t spend as much as we did in the last inauguration … taking into account inflation‚” she said.