We may not know – officially – who it will be yet, but preparations for the inauguration of the next president are well under way, with funds of about R120 million allocated in this week’s Budget.
Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) spokesman Clayson Monyela said yesterday the work was going well.
The departments of Public Works, Home Affairs, the Treasury, Presidency and the security cluster were all involved, as well as emergency services.
“It’s a massive operation,” Monyela said.
Dirco, which according to the Treasury’s estimates of national expenditure has been allocated an additional R80m to cater for “all the logistical arrangements and the diplomatic and protocol services”, would handle invitations for foreign dignitaries, their arrival, transport and accommodation, he said.
The Public Works Department was given an additional R39m for state functions “mainly to provide for the presidential inauguration ceremony”, according to the Budget documents.
The documents say spending on state functions increased between 2010/11 and last year, with state funerals contributing to the rise.
The Public Works Department played a key role in laying on facilities and preparing the grave site for the funeral of Nelson Mandela last year.
In 2010 the allocation for state functions was R8.8m and reached R27.1m last year. It stands at R67.7m for the coming financial year.
Independent Newspapers reported in 2009 that President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration then would come in at R75m.
At R120m, this year’s budget represents a 60 percent increase.