SONA 2020: Modise prepared for EFF
Cape Town - Speaker Thandi Modise has promised that she would apply the rules of Parliament when the EFF tries to disrupt the State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
This follows a threat by the EFF that it would not allow Ramaphosa to address the House until he had fired Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. The EFF has since 2014 been disrupting the sittings of the House.
This led to Parliament to hire former police officers as protection service officers.
Modise said yesterday that they would not allow the disruption of the Chamber by the EFF. “There is one item on the agenda and it is to receive the State of the Nation Address. We are entertaining that item because the agenda is decided by the president,” said Modise.
She said there was nothing being done behind the scenes except to stick to the rules of the House.
She said they would ensure rules were applied during the proceedings.
Parliament has a joint sitting during the SONA and it involves the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.
Modise also said they were implementing austerity measures in the budget. Parliament plans to spend less than R4.7million for the occasion after it cancelled some of the activities related to the SONA.
The national legislature had set aside a combined R7.3m for the SONA in June after Ramaphosa was elected president in the May elections.
That SONA cost R2.6m, said Modise.
She also said they had invited all former heads of state and ex-presiding officers. Former president Jacob Zuma has, however, not confirmed whether he will attend the SONA.
Zuma missed the SONA last June. This was after he had missed the inauguration of the president in Pretoria.
Modise said former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and FW de Klerk had confirmed they will attend the SONA.
Former speakers of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete and Frene Ginwala also confirmed their attendance.