The Western Cape's water crisis is set to be Premier Helen Zille’s main focus as she delivers her State of the Province Address on Friday. Picture: Michael Walker/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - The ANC in the Western Cape on Wednesday requested Premier Helen Zille to postpone her upcoming State of the Province address (Sopa), that was set to be delivered on Friday. 

This is to allow the delivery the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) by the new president on Friday. 

Earlier, it was confirmed that the SONA would take place on Friday, February 16 following the election of a new president.

"We agree as well on the proposed programme that on Thursday we deal with the motion of no confidence and Friday the SONA of course after the election of a new president and then Monday the debate [on the SONA] and then Tuesday the response [by the new president] and Wednesday the budget speech by the new minister of Finance," said Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chief whip Floyd Shivambu at an urgent meeting of Parliament's programming committee.

READ MORE: Political parties agree on programme for #ZumaExit

Following this, Leader of the Opposition Khaya Magaxa wrote to Zille, requesting the postponement to allow the new president to deliver it. 

"SONA must take place on Friday February 16, 2018, and it will be delivered by a new president. As you know, it sets the basis for the action of the executive and the legislature for the calender year with all the spheres/organs of state and levels of government gathered in one place. 

"We believe it would be against the principles of a democratic constitutional co-operative government for any province to proceed with a state of the province before the president has delivered SONA. 

Magaxa further added, in the letter that Independent Media has seen, that: "The SONA spells out the priorities for the whole country for the year ahead and lays the basis for the Budget Statement Address and allocations. Without that, we cannot determine the direction for our province."

He also stressed that Sopa and the debate that follows afterwards will only have meaning if it follows SONA. 

"By continuing with Sopa before SONA, it will undermine the approach to service delivery in the Western Cape and amounts to reduce the Sopa into an illegitimate gathering.

"Our province is often accused of adopting an antagonistic posture towards National Government. This we believe does not serve the interests of the people of the Western Cape. 

He added that the province was part of a unitary state and not a "federal subregion or enclave" and called on Zille to give the matter "urgent attention". 

IOL