State of the Nation Address preparations under way, venue to be announced soon
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Cape Town - Preparations for the State of the Nation Address are at an advanced stage, says Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the annual speech on February 10.
This usually takes place at the National Assembly, but since the parliamentary precinct was gutted by the fires on Sunday and Monday, a new venue is being sought.
Mothapo said Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Amos Masondo would on Thursday afternoon join Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis on inspection of the possible alternative venues, such as the Municipal Chambers, Cape Town International Convention Centre and the Town Hall.
“The inspection follows the offer by the provincial government of the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town for the use of these venues for both the Sona and the Budget Speech,” Mothapo said.
The approved venue will be announced soon.
The Mace, an important symbol that signifies the authority and sitting of the National Assembly, was not destroyed in the two-day fire at Parliament.
On Wednesday it was confirmed that Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo had received the Mace, which is carried into the Chamber by the Serjeant-at-Arms and announces the arrival of the Speaker of the National Assembly.
Mothapo said the Mace had not been damaged. “The presiding officers confirm that efforts to save the Mace were successful yesterday after two days of the fire. It has been retrieved from its safe storage without any damage.”