Secretary to Parliament Xolile George has confirmed that they have set aside R6.5 million for the State of the Nation Address (Sona) as the event was hosted outside the precinct.
George said this was an increase from R5m that was allocated last year to host the Sona.
He said there were logistical infrastructure costs and other associated costs that have led to the increase in the budget for the event.
Parliament has over the last two years held its major events, including the Sona and the Budget in the City Hall in Cape Town following the fire in 2022.
Zandile Mafe, who was charged with arson was on trial. He was declared unfit to stand trial by the Western Cape High Court last December. The judge found that Mafe was not able to understand proceedings in court.
However, the rebuilding of Parliament has started and National Treasury set aside R2 billion for that project.
Parliament reported last year that some of the offices that were gutted in the fire, have been rebuilt.
George, who was among senior officials in Parliament briefing the media on Tuesday, said there were many costs associated with the Sona.
“On the question of the budget, as we have reported last year, events of this magnitude and scale do require resources and significant resources to be able to convene all the logistical infrastructure, knowing that Parliament is not operating inside the Parliament that we had. We have put aside an amount of about R6.5m as a budget,” said George.
After the Sona, they will be able to establish how much has been spent.
This would be after they have done the reconciliation of figures.
“Last year, we put aside about R5m, and this year we have budgeted about R6.5m,” said George.
The Sona will be held on Thursday in the City Hall.
It will be followed by a debate next week and President Cyril Ramaphosa will reply to the debate before the end of next week.
Six senior leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) have been barred from attending the Sona after they were found guilty by the Powers and Privileges Committee of misconduct, relating to last year’s Sona where they disrupted proceedings.
They have been banned for a month. The ban came into effect on February and will end on February 29.
Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, Vuyani Pambo, Sinawo Tambo, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Marshall Ndlozi are the six party MPs who will not be able to attend the event.
The Powers and Privileges Committee had also ordered that the six members apologise to Ramaphosa, Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the nation for their conduct.