President Cyril Ramaphosa is seen outside Parliament before delivering his State of the Nation Address at a joint sitting of the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa is seen outside Parliament before delivering his State of the Nation Address at a joint sitting of the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Trimmed down SONA 2020 set to cost taxpayers R4.7 million

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Feb 6, 2020

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Parliament - The opening of Parliament next week will, together with the event held last year after the May national elections, cost the South African taxpayers R7.3 million, speaker Thandi Modise said on Thursday.

Modise told a briefing of the parliamentary press corps that pomp and ceremony accompanying president Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address next week had been reduced in order to contain costs.

She said there would be no junior or civil guard of honour and the advertising and branding budget for the event had been scaled back.

However, Ramaphosa's procession will still be lead by a full military parade, and the traditional 21-gun salute and military fly-over have also been retained as part of the programme.

The State of the Nation Address held in June last year after the national elections cost R2.6 million, leaving the cost estimate for next week's event at R4.7 million.

Ramaphosa came to power in February 2018 and faces pressure to deal with the country's electricity crisis, record unemployment, a stalled economy and dire lack of direct investment.

He will be addressing the nation a fortnight after troubled power utility Eskom conceded that it would have to implement loadshedding for the next 18 months. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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