"R4 Million to Speak?": South Africans Say SONA Should Be Held Virtually to Save on Costs

"R4 Million to Speak?": South Africans Say SONA Should Be Held Virtually to Save on Costs

  • Taxpayers will have to pay R4 million for the State of the Nation Address that will take place on 10 February
  • The money will also be used to cover the subsequent debates that will be hosted by members of the National Assembly
  • Social media users are not happy that the government will be spending so much money on the event and would rather opt for a virtual address

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CAPE TOWN - With just a few days to go, Parliament's presiding officers have announced that the much-anticipated State of the Nation Address will cost approximately R4 million and the bill will undoubtedly be footed by taxpayers.

This year's event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 10 February at the Cape Town City Hall, following the National Assembly's demise due to a fire earlier this year.

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State Of the Nation Address, R4million price tag, Parliament, increased security
State Of the Nation Address, R4million price tag, Parliament, increased security
Source: Getty Images

The address will be followed by heated debates by National Assembly houses on 14 & 15 February and on 16 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa will respond to what was debated about, according to TimesLIVE.

The steep price tag comes after the 2021 SONA only cost R100 000 due to a less extravagant event and was also held virtually due to Covid19 concerns. However, this year, the glitz and glamour of the event might be making a return as the Parliament committee plans to host a hybrid event.

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A total of 298 are expected to be in attendance at the physical venue while the rest will be attending the event virtually.

According to JacarandaFM, part of the R4 million will be used to ensure that the Cape Town City Hall will be up to standard in time for the SONA. A huge chunk of the money will be spent on ICT broadcast equipment, furniture and facilities to house interpretation facilities from 10 February, however, SONA will cost R1.9 million.

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South Africans question why SONA is not held virtually

South Africans feel a R4 million price tag for the President's address is a little too steep. People say the event should rather be held virtually to save costs.

@TheCaseForAOne1 said:

"Gosh! Why not a virtual SONA? We just don't have the cash! Damn I forgot we just borrowed from the IMF! Sidhla isikolotho! Hai!!!"

@Neontsoelengoe1 said:

"For saving costs, why can't they virtually address the nation."

@zimisozenkosi said:

"R4 million to speak?? Come on!"

@DesireTablai said:

"R4 million for SONA and then Cyril is going to say nothing. Parliament ready for in-person SONA to show its work will not be disrupted despite the fire."

@tshepo87 said:

"Do we really need SONA? If it didn’t happen, would the year not go ahead? Just seems like excess spending for no good reason."

@TellUnknown said:

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SA can direct SONA 2022 questions for President Ramaphosa to EFF

"Cyril Ramaphosa must just give us the useless #SONA2022 on television while he sits in his office at Union Building the same way he gave us those useless family meetings of a broken nation. R4million can be used to build some houses in Alexandra."

SA can direct SONA 2022 questions for President Ramaphosa to EFF

Briefly News previously reported that on 10 February, 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) at City Hall in Cape Town.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have offered South Africans the chance to send them any questions for Ramaphosa and his Cabinet, and the party will ask their submitted questions at SONA. The EFF will give feedback on the questions based on the president's answers.

So far, the EFF has received many questions about the R350 SASSA grant, particularly until when it will be distributed, TimesLIVE reports. There have also been several questions interrogating the role of corruption in government.

Source: Briefly News

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