PRETORIA - The inter-ministerial committee planning the presidential inauguration on Thursday said all heads of state and governments of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been invited to witness the "auspicious occasion" when the incoming president of South Africa will be sworn-in on May 25.
"The guests also include representatives from the continental regional economic blocks, former liberation movements, fraternal countries, the African Union, United Nations, members of the diplomatic corps and eminent persons and former presidents of the Republic. We have limited the invitation to the heads of state in line with our cost-cutting measures," Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
"Four-thousand-five-hundred guests have been invited from various sectors of society, including parliamentarians, the judiciary, ministers and deputy ministers, premiers, [members of the executive councils] MECs and executive mayors. We have also invited members of the diplomatic corps, religious sector, etc."
Dlamini-Zuma said on the cost-cutting measure, the inauguration will cost over R100 million less than the previous inauguration which ushered in the fifth administration led by former president Jacob Zuma.
The pomp and ceremony will coincide with Africa Day, where the continent celebrates the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity, which later evolved to be the African Union. The inauguration also comes at a time when South Africa is celebrating 25 years of freedom.