South Africa: The Week - SONA Debate and Legislation Top the Agenda

It has taken a few weeks but Parliament is finally firing on all cylinders with plenty of action beckoning in both the main chamber and the committee corridor.

The main events will be the joint debate on the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday and Wednesday as well as the President's reply on Thursday.

The debate allows the opposition to give a rebuttal to the President's speech and is a highlight of the parliamentary calendar as all party leaders and a galaxy of heavyweight MPs take part.

The debate follows a predictable path: the opposition attacks the President and governing party for not offering new ideas and highlights all their failures. In return, the governing party defends the President, the government's record and proposals and points out weaknesses in the opposition. Speaker after speaker bear their political fangs and the presiding officers are severely tested as they try to maintain control.

With an election just months away, it is inevitable that there will be even more jibes, rhetoric and heckling than the norm.

While most of the attention will be focused on the plenary proceedings, the committee corridor has also scheduled a number of...

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