Cape Town: The sun has replaced the earlier gloomy weather of Cape Town which was threatening downpours at the break of dawn before the State of the Nation Address.
President Cyril Ramaphosa took a walk through the City Hall with Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula a few hours before the address.
Several streets in the Cape Town CBD have been closed to traffic, with more streets set to be closed later in the day before Ramaphosa addresses the nation.SONA preparation video embed code.
Many politicians are expected to descend on the City Hall to listen to his address later in the day.
Also expected is former president Thabo Mbeki, and former deputy presidents Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Baleka Mbete.
The presiding officers have promised that the event would be a scaled-down affair as they had to cut some of the costs.
There is tight security in Cape Town as police officers, some with sniffer dogs, are visible in the city centre.
The city hall is expected to take more than 300 MPs and dozens of guests.
Political parties have called for Ramaphosa to act on many things, among them crime, corruption, unemployment, poverty and gender-based violence.
The hosting of the address at the city hall also comes almost exactly 32 years after Nelson Mandela’s release.
Friday will mark 32 years since Mandela was released from Victor Verster prison, now known as Drakenstein in Paarl, and he made his speech from the balcony of the City Hall overlooking the Grande Parade where thousands of people welcomed him back.
It was his first speech in public 27 years after he had been arrested.