Cape Town - With 9000 delegates attending the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba and many arriving for the State of the Nation Address (Sona) tonight, hotels and accommodation in and around the city centre were bursting at the seams, with attendees reportedly having to seek accommodation as far out as Fish Hoek.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his Sona at 7pm in the City Hall, after rehearsals took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Due to the Sona, a number of road closures will be in place in the city.
There will also be kerbside security fencing around the perimeter of the City Hall until February 23.
Affected roads include Darling Street between Parade and Corporation Streets; Corporation Street between Darling and Longmarket Street; and Parade Street between Darling and Longmarket Street.
Hotel occupancy in Cape Town is limited.
This comes on the back of the Western Cape reporting in December that occupancy stood at 73.4%, up from 71.6% in December 2022, compared to 62.4% for South Africa in December 2023, slightly up from 62.2% in the same month in 2022.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger said: “We continue to celebrate the different aspects of the record-breaking tourism summer season in the Western Cape, with much more to come no doubt.
“This good news would not be possible without the incredibly warm welcome given to visitors by our tourism and hospitality businesses.
“We are a destination in demand, and I extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every Western Cape resident, business and visitor who made this season such a success.”
The parliamentary debate on Sona will take place next Thursday.
The City Hall has become the venue for the Parliamentary gathering following the fire that had ripped through the Parliament building in Cape Town in January 2022.
National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, said last night that it was all systems go for Sona.
“We met the organising team and received briefings on the final arrangements for Sona 2024. We also had an inspection in loco to establish the state of readiness to host the Sona.
“We are absolutely happy with all the work and it demonstrated the meticulous planning that went into this major event,” they said.
During a media briefing on Tuesday, secretary to Parliament Xolile George announced that R6.5 million had been allocated for the Sona, an increase from the R5m allocated to last year’s event.
During a media briefing on the president’s public programme, presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said: “We urge all South Africans to follow (Thursday’s) address as it deals with the state of the nation, not the state of only one segment or some segments of the nation.
“It is the state of all of the nation. We are united in the progress we have made and united in the work that we need to do to address the challenges that we face.”
Magwenya added that the president was making good recovery from a bout of flu and would be “up to the task” of addressing the nation.
The president will also announce the election date within 15 days as of today.
The Sona will be the last under the sixth administration and comes at a time when the country marks 30 years as a democratic dispensation.
Earlier this week, Ramaphosa was among several high-profile attendees, including his Deputy Paul Mashatile, present at the 30th edition of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
The four-day indaba opened on Monday and will conclude on Friday.
Investing in African Mining Indaba Portfolio director Eve Harper said they were expecting 9 000 delegates to attend over the four days.
“As with any large annual event that has been running for 30 years like Mining Indaba, there will be demand and it is advised to book accommodation as early as possible,” she said.
“Many regular attendees will have already started to secure accommodation for Mining Indaba 2025.”