Five years ago, Jacob Zuma's SONA cost South Africans R9.2 million, but Parliament says that this budget has been cut back to R2 million for next week's address. Deputy-Speaker Lechasa Tsenoli says that cost-cutting measures have been employed to account for the economic hardships facing most citizens.
June 20th's State of the Nation Address, delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will only be setting the state back R2 million.
The Citizen reports that National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise hopes that they will be coming in under budget for the ceremony.
Cost-cutting measures were put into place to reflect the tough economic climate, with Parliament hoping to avoid disruptions that had become commonplace during Zuma's reign.
Costs cut include omitting dinner for MPs and other guests, the elimination of the junior and civil guard from the state procession, as well as the removal of the imbongi who usually sings as the president enters the chambers.
1 200 guests ve been invited, including ex-presidents and their deputies, chief justices and other high-profile guests.
Modise says that no disruptions are expected, commenting that a firm stance has been taken in this regard:
“We’ll ensure that there is decorum. If anything happens, we’ll follow our rules and strictly go to the session relying on the rules of the joint sitting."
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