This year’s SONA to cost just over R100 000: Speaker

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National Assembly Speaker, Thandi Modise, says it is expected that the cost associated with this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) would be in the region of R100 000. This is significantly less than the more than R2 million it cost the taxpayers last year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his address on Thursday evening. Due to COVID-19, the usual pomp and ceremony around the event have been cancelled.

Only 50 people will be allowed inside the National Assembly when President Ramaphosa presents his address, while other Members of Parliament and guests will follow proceedings on virtual platforms.

Modise says this year the biggest expense would be connectivity costs. “We did mention in the briefing last week that the only cost to bear as Parliament for this particular SONA will be the cost of paying for virtual connectivity. Thus far partly estimating just over R100 000 for this whole exercise.”

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise briefs the media ahead of the State of the Nation Address: 

Road closures 

Several roads around Parliament will be closed in anticipation of the State of the Nation Address on Thursday evening, despite it being a very downscaled affair due to COVID-19.

Despite this, Parliament’s Presiding Officers say security outside the precinct will remain tight.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise says security arrangements outside the precinct will be conducted by the government’s security cluster.

“We will confirm with the executive why roads will be closed. As far as we know, inside parly no security and that is where our jurisdiction starts and ends as parly. Do know, people who want to march, subject to confirmation with security cluster ministers,  can say whether closures related to that.”

Below are some of the key highlights of previous SONAs: