South Africa: Parliament On Final Inspection of Arrangements for State of the Nation Address

press release

Speaking notes of Presiding Officers at State of the Nation walkabout inspection Wednesday 19 June 2019

Parliament is ready to host President Cyril Ramaphosa's first State of the Nation Address to the sixth democratic Parliament.

We have just completed our final inspection of the arrangements for tomorrow's joint sitting at which President Ramaphosa will deliver the address and are satisfied that it's all systems go!

This morning, the President also did an inspection and he, also, was satisfied.

We have also been receiving regular briefings about the various aspects of the occasion and everything is proceeding smoothly.

Buses will transport Members of Parliament from and to their parliamentary villages and there is a dedicated call centre for help with problems or information.

We are pleased at the high interest the media have shown. The final number of media who have been accredited to report from the parliamentary precinct stands at 915. We trust that you will collect your accreditation tags in good time.

We are finalising the list of media who will have seats in the media bays of the National Assembly Chamber tomorrow.

The seating in these bays is limited and the allocation of tickets will be on an equitable basis, to ensure a mix of domestic and international media and commercial and community media.

Nine television, radio and digital broadcasters will be broadcasting live from Parliament tomorrow and so will Parliament TV.

The ceremony:

The ceremony has been scaled down because of financial considerations and the customary junior and civil guards of honour and nine eminent persons (one from each province) will not feature tomorrow.

We had also planned to not have an imbongi to welcome the President into the National Assembly Chamber before he delivers the State of the Nation Address.

However, following the concerns from several groupings about this, the matter is being reconsidered.

There is a plan in place for inclement weather. This plan involves an indoor red-carpet route from the Queen's Hall in the National Council of Provinces to the National Assembly chamber instead of the outside red-carpet route along Parliament Street.


We are expecting 1 200 guests to attend. Among the guests who have confirmed they will be there are:

Chief Justice Mogoeng and Mrs Mogoeng

Mr and Mrs Mbeki

Mr and Mrs Motlanthe

Dr Frene Ginwala

Mr and Mrs Sisulu

Ms Mbete and Mr Khomo

PAP President Rodger Nkodo Dang

Ms Loide L Kasingo PAP guest

Dr Denis Goldberg

Dr Andrew Mlangeni

Ms Gertrude Shope

Ms Sophie De Bruyn

Advocate Priscilla Jana

Ms Joyce Dipale

Count-down to President's delivery of the Address:

Guests, including members of the diplomatic corps, start arriving from about 5 pm.

At 5 pm a red carpet is unfolded along Parliament Street, from the gates of the National Assembly building to the National Assembly building.

Processions, along this red carpet, of the Judiciary, of Premiers of Provinces and of Speakers of Provincial Legislatures start at about 6.30 pm.

The President arrives and when the Command: "National Salute! Present Arms" is made. the President acknowledges the salute. The national anthem then starts to play, a 21-gun salute is given and a salute flight takes place.

On the command: "Slope Arms", processions involving the President, the Deputy President, Parliament's Presiding Officers, the Acting Secretary to Parliament, the Serjeant-at-Arms, the Usher of the Black Rod and two Aides-de-Camp make their way into the National Assembly Chamber.

The President starts to deliver his State of the Nation Address to the joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces at 7 pm.

Issued by: Parliament of South Africa

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