We’ve got an action-packed National Assembly gathering on Thursday, as all spheres of government take their seats ahead of the official opening of South Africa’s sixth Parliament.
Cyril Ramaphosa’s second SONA 2019 speech gets underway later this evening, and you can certainly expect fireworks from the gallery. The shenanigans of the red carpet event get underway at 17:00, and the president is due to begin his speech at 19:00 sharp on Thursday 20 June.
We’re expecting a bit of discontent from the EFF, who are less happy with Ramaphosa than they were a few months ago. His ongoing feud with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane promises to be a bone of contention, but the president did a very good job of neutralising the red berets at the start of the year.
Eskom will be the R400bn elephant in the room, and it seems like we can all expect another bailout for the flailing utility. Meanwhile, you can expect crime and economic growth – or a lack thereof – to top the agenda, too.
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State of the Nation in brief
- The State of the Nation Address (SONA 2019) is divided into three parts. The first is the important public participation role in the ceremony when the Civil Guard of Honour welcomes the President and his guests as they walk along the red carpet. This is followed by a state ceremonial, which includes a 21-gun salute and the South African Air Force flypast and finally the official address by the President.
- Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) line the route that the President takes to Parliament.
- The Military Guard of Honour participates in the ceremony and the military band plays South Africa’s national anthem.
- In a general election year, two State of the Nation Addresses are delivered.
- The State of the Nation Address is one of the rare occasions where the three arms of State, namely the Executive represented by the President, Deputy President and Ministers; the Judiciary, represented by the country’s Chief Justice and the Judge Presidents; and the Legislature, represented by the Members of Parliament gather in one place.
- The provincial and local spheres of government are also represented.