Moving SONA to the Union Buildings a costly exercise: Minister Lindiwe Zulu

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Social Development Minister, and African National Congress (ANC) NEC member Lindiwe Zulu says moving the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to the Union Buildings in Pretoria is a costly exercise for Parliament.

COPE spokesperson and Member of Parliament Dennis Bloem suggested the move, since Parliament building has yet to be repaired from the fire a year ago.

Zandile Mafe faces charges including arson and terrorism in connection with the blaze.

He was denied bail and is expected to appear in court again soon.

Bloem has called the situation unacceptable.

“It’s very disturbing that up until now … it’s a year now, and absolutely nothing has happened to restore that building. If there’s political will, then that building can be fixed within no time, but it is not like that. Each and everything that government is doing, will take years to fix, and to address such a problem. It is totally wrong and unacceptable,” adds Bloem.

Meanwhile, Zulu says the SONA is more than just the President giving a speech.

“It’s not just the day of the State of the Nation Address where the President has to come and speak. It’s a process … it goes on to different political parties doing a debate over the State of the Nation Address.”

“It’s an expensive exercise, from a point of view of moving where it is now. It means transporting the entire staff, it means looking for interpretation [interpreting services], it means looking for systems for that interpretation. I’m not sure why a proposal like that can even be entertained,” adds Minister Zulu.

The video below is reporting on the fire incident: