The much anticipated State of The Nation Address (SONA) will take place at Parliament tonight and the theme is Making Your Future Work Better – Learning from Madiba. All eyes will be on newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa to set the nation’s mind at ease after a tumultuous reign by Former President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa will reveal government’s plan of action for the year ahead today.
A cabinet reshuffle is eminent, at this time there is no clarity on who will be shown the door. Social media is hopeful that Pravin Gordon will be reinstated as Minister of Finance.
There is a electric atmosphere at parliament this morning ahead of #SONA. Steve Swart from the ACDP, Thandi Modise chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu all sing and dance with the parliament choir #SONA2018 @ANN7tv pic.twitter.com/rZRr2C4X7U
— Valerie Joy Robinson (@ValerieJoy_R) February 16, 2018
On Thursday the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) protested in Parliament when the Speaker refused to allow their motion to debate the dissolution of Parliament.
EFF leader, Julius Malema promised SONA will be free of drama.
“Our people are longing for a day where the State of the National Address will be delivered in a peaceful environment. We’re giving Cyril that chance.”
Malema said they would take on Ramaphosa for his role in the Marikana massacre and for being part of a Parliament that did not hold Jacob Zuma to account.
For those unsure of how SONA unfolds:
- The President sets out government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead;
- It highlights the achievements and challenges experienced over the past year and maps the year ahead;
- It covers wide-ranging political, economic and social matters and considers the general state of South Africa;
- It deliberates on South Africa’s domestic affairs as well as its continental and international relations; and
- The full address is recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.
What happens after the State of the Nation Address?
- Political parties have an opportunity to debate, comment and raise questions on matters addressed in the President’s speech during a debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address. This year the debate is scheduled for Monday, 19 February 2018. The President will have the opportunity to reply to the debate on Tuesday, 20 February 2018.
The State of the Nation Address outlines government’s priorities for the year;
- The Minister of Finance allocates the Budget in line with the priorities outlined in the State of Nation Address including regular reporting. The Minister of Finance will deliver the budget speech in the National Assembly Chamber on Wednesday, 21 February 2018;
- Parliament conducts oversight to ensure that government delivers on the priorities set out in the State of the Nation Address and checks that allocated funds are spent accordingly.
— ANC Parliament (@ANCParliament) February 16, 2018
Road Closures in Cape Town:
Government and the police have asked that roads — mostly in the CBD — should be closed from 6am to midnight on Friday.
“The road closures will affect the normal flow of traffic in and around the city bowl‚ Newlands‚ and the M3 and N2 city-bound lanes. As such‚ road users are asked to plan their routes accordingly‚” said a council statement.
“Road users are also alerted to the closure of the M3 and N2 at 17:45 on Friday. The M5 will be the best option as an alternative route.”