Police Minister Bheki Cele says he expects meaningful contribution from the more than 2 000 law enforcement officers deployed to provide security ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday evening.

Cele addressed a National Joint Operational Intelligence Structures gathering at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, saying the deployment consists of South African Police Service, the City’s Metro Police and traffic officers.

“Today (Thursday) is to make sure every person is safe. The precinct is safe. The guests are safe. Everybody is safe. The emphasis will be forever on women and children. The question I’m not going to answer is how many forces are there. They are many in the field – more than a thousand. When the President speaks there will be more than 2 000 forces on the ground.”

In the video below the South African Police Service outlines its state of readiness ahead of SONA: 

President Ramaphosa will deliver the SONA at 7PM.

Some of the issues he is expected to focus on include unemployment, economic growth and the state of the State-Owned Enterprises.

Unemployment currently stands at 29.1% .

The graphic below show unemployment rate throughout 2019: 

Unemployment Rate in South Africa by SABC Digital News

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)  says it does not expect anything from the address except an announcement that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has been fired. The party has threatened to disrupt the proceedings if Gordhan remains in his position.

Other political parties have, however, criticised the EFF’s move to disrupt the address saying while the party has the right to protest, it must respect their right to listen to Ramaphosa.

EFF’s National Spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya says they do not need the support of other parties.

“There’s nothing that we expect. We want Gordhan fired. We don’t need their (other parties) support. We are a democratically elected political party.”

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli has sent a strong warning to EFF members that if they carry out their plan to disrupt proceedings they will be removed from Parliament.

Tsenoli says the rules of the House are clear.

“We can’t allow people in the house to be disruptive. We adapted our rules because of this and there will be no hesitation by presiding officers to carry out that responsibility, that in the event that the presiding officers feel that what’s happening is out of order, that they are not even listening to those who ask to talk to them gently, and if they choose not to do so, their place is in the streets.”