SONA 2021: Economy, Covid-19 and corruption key issues for opposition as Ramaphosa hones speech
By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi 12m ago
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Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa is doing the final touches to his speech for the State of the Nation Address (Sona) to set the agenda for the country for the next year, with political parties demanding that he addresses the economy, Covid-19 and corruption.
Parliament was a hive of activity last year during the Sona, but the Covid-19 pandemic has changed that, with Thursday’s evening address by Ramaphosa to be a low-key affair.
With only 30 MPs allowed into the chamber and 20 officials and guests because of health protocols, Parliament is to save money.
There were few people expected around the parliamentary precinct as the Covid-19 protocols require less people. Speaker Thandi Modise said they did not want crowds of people in Parliament.
Modise also said they will only spend R100 000 during the Sona.
“I think as to the exact costs, we did say in our press briefing last week that we expect that the only cost that we’ll bear in this particular Sona as Parliament will be the cost of paying for the virtual connectivity. Thus far, Parliament is expecting to spend R100 000 for this whole exercise,” said Modise.me
The national legislature had earlier said it had budgeted R2 million for the Sona, but with many of the activities being cut because of Covid-19, they would spend much less than that.
National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo said there would not be strict security measures.
Modise said they would not be expecting a large police contingent around the Parliamentary precinct.