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WATCH: Sombre ambience at this year's Sona, says John Steenhuisen

Published Feb 10, 2022

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Video by Tarryn-Leigh Solomons

Cape Town - DA leader John Steenhuisen says this year's State of the Nation Address (Sona) has a somewhat sombre ambience following the January fire which gutted parts of Parliament.

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This is the first year the Sona is being held outside of the National Assembly.

The National Assembly and Old Assembly buildings were gutted following a fire that was initiated by alleged arsonist Zandile Mafe.

Police, law enforcement agencies, the media and parliamentary officials, among others, are out and about at the Grand Parade ahead of the President's address.

Video: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

"I think it's very unfortunate that we had to move to another venue, but that's what happens when government buildings are not maintained properly.

"This (City Hall) definitely has a different feel down here. It does not feel like the Parliamentary precinct which is usually abuzz with MPs walking and mingling. It seems a lot more stained this year, but nonetheless, Parliament must continue,“ Steenhuisen said.

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The leader of the opposition said the president needs to be bold on how he intends to recover the economy as it is tied to job creation, inequality and poverty.

"We need to attract investments.

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"What the president can't do is put his party's needs above the needs of the country. He needs to be bold and brave," Steenhuisen said.

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Political Bureau

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