Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here.
On Tuesday the Speaker could not confirm most of the details around SONA arrangements, including who of the guests will be attending physically, whether SONA will be a full ceremony and so on.
I can confirm that SONA 2022 will be a full ceremony. There will be a candlelight ceremony in memory of those lost their lives due to Covid-19 during the past year.
The President will take a salute at the platform prepared in front of Madiba statue on the balcony of the City Hall. And the singing of the National anthem will take place there as well.
The President will thereafter be ushered into the hall in poem, to be recited in Setswana language.
Update on the attendance of MPs
In terms of Members of Parliament physically attending, the numbers are still the same as announced by the Speaker on Tuesday.
There is a total number of 364 Members of Parliament who have been allocated seats inside the hall. Of this number, 278 are NA members, while 86 are NCOP members.
Up to 300 of the MPs will be seated in the chamber, while the 64 will be seated in the gallery.
Attendance of Dignitaries
The following dignitaries will be attending the SONA physically tonight:
- Former President Thabo Mbeki
- Former President Kgalema Moltanthe
- Former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo Ngquka
- Former Speaker and Deputy President Baleka Mbethe
- Former Speaker Max Sisulu
Because Parliament recognizes and esteems the role of the Media, we went out of our way to make sure that we accredit up 400 media personnel to come cover the SONA physically.
Others will be joining the proceedings through a Webinar (virtual platform).
The 15 members of the media whose accreditation tags indicate “MEDIA BAY” will be provided with wrist bands, which they must collect from Mrs Khuthala Noah immediately after this briefing. These 15 must be seated in the Media Bay gallery inside the hall before the doors are shut at 18h00
All other media personnel only need accreditation the tag around your neck to do your work.
The Parliamentary Sound and Vision Unit will provide a broadcast feed to all Television broadcast media. Radio stations may get their feed from the GCIS.
Please make sure you wear your face mask at all times, and observe social distancing.
As per norm, we are expecting Members of Parliament and guests to start arriving from 16h00 onwards. They will be shuttled and dropped off at the entrance to the Grand Parade where all of us were dropped off.
A provision will be made for you to capture their arrival and procession to the entrance of the chamber through Corporation Street.
All media must clear off the drop off zone at 17h30, and return to their workstations to make way for the start of proceedings.
Scaffolders have been provided for Photographers and Videographers at identified focal points. Photographers and Videographers operating at the scaffolders are expected to be at their respective stations at 17h45.
No further movements will be allowed from thereon until the proceedings conclude and the President has entered the hall.
Post SONA reaction interviews will be conducted at the Grand Parade, across the street from the City Hall.
Members of Parliament and guests will be directed to the designated interview area immediately after adjournment.
ISSUED BY PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
ENQUIRIES: Moloto Mothapo 0823706930