6 February 2017

South Africa: Parliament Commits to Provide Optimal Media Support for SONA 2017

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Parliament, Monday 6 February 2017 - Parliament has re-assured the media of optimal support to enable effective and full coverage of the 2017 State of the Nation Address, as has been done over the years.

Parliament has dismissed allegations of more stringent security measures that could inhibit media's ability to perform their roles of effectively covering the State of the Nation Address for the benefit of all the people in South Africa and internationally. The Secretary to Parliament (STP), had made the commitment during a media briefing held on Thursday 2 February, that the same provisions of the previous years will apply in 2017 with even additional support to enable the media to comprehensively cover the SONA. Parliament has even improved the management of the Media Bay in the National Assembly, with the introduction of personalised tickets with seat allocations to avoid unauthorised occupation of limited space for about 60 media representatives, by people who are not media workers.Last year media had complained about this matter and as a responsive Parliament such concerns were addressed for the 2017 State of the Nation Address.

With the introduction of seat allocations to specific media representatives for the Media Bay, Parliament has aligned its system across all the guests of Parliament who are allocated specific seats. As with all other tickets and allocated seats, tickets for the media bay will not be transferable, and this is a critical management tool in the context of over 700 accredited media workers for the coverage the State of the Nation Address.

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