On Thursday 11 February, Jacob Zuma will give his State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Parliament, and boy is there a lot for the president to talk about. Between the flailing economy, the #FeesMustFall movement and the startling declaration by Zuma that he will pay back the money for Nkandla, a lot is expected from this speech. While the whole country will be watching this vital address, for those of us who live or work in the CBD, SONA brings a lot of admin with it.

There will be road closures in and around the city; public transport and parking will be affected and News24 reports that three groups have been given permission to protest in the city during SONA. To help you navigate the next few days, here is what you need to know. The City of Cape Town states that road closures will affect traffic on the M3, N2 city-bound lanes and Newlands. While SONA is on Thursday, road closures will commence on Tuesday 9 February.

Here is a brief breakdown of which roads will be closed:

Tuesday and Wednesday

Bureau Street: between Adderley and Parliament Streets / Spin Street: between Corporation and Parliament Street / Parliament Street: between Parliament and Longmarket Street. John’s Road: between Roeland and Vrede Street’s Gallery Lane / Bouquet Street: whole / Roeland Street: between Plein and Buitenkant Streets / Commercial Street.

These streets will be closed between 5 pm and 12 am and Harrington street will be closed from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Thursday

All the streets mentioned above will be closed from 4 pm with the addition of: Adderley Street: between Strand Street and Wale Street / Plein Street / Hope Street / Roland Street / Buitenkant Street.  The M3 / N2 inbound / Woolsack Drive / Azario road will also  be closed. In Newlands, the following roads will be closed Klipper Road / Princess Anne Avenue / Newlands Avenue.

On SONA day, no cars will be allowed to park in any parking bays around the Parliament and the Company Gardens area, including the St. Mary’s Cathedral Parking Area. Adderly, Strand and Darling street will also be no Park zones. In Newlands, you will not be allowed to park on Klipper Road or Princess Anne Avenue.

For a full timetable and alternative routes click here.

Public Transport 

For those who make use of busses, you should not be too badly affected but there will be route changes to accommodate all the road closures. The MyCiTi stops at Darling, Lower Buitenkant, Roeland and Roodehek will be closed. The bus will divert via Loop/Long Street and Buitensingel Street to/from the Gardens stop. Groote Kerk Stop will also be closed and you can use the Longmarket or Church stops instead.

Be sure to plan your routes home carefully on these days as there will be heavy traffic. Good luck and happy driving!

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