All eyes will be on President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night as he delivers his third state-of-the-nation address, which will be his first address as head of government in the sixth administration.
Amongst the 1 200 guests expected to arrive for the SONA are former Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe. Political party leaders and Members of Parliament were dressed in their best as they arrived at the Parliament precinct through the afternoon. Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane together with his wife were early birds on the red carpet. African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe and his wife once again dressed in matching outfits. ANC MP, Mandla Mandela, who always impresses with his Xhosa inspired outfits again did not disappoint this year.
See pictures of guests arriving:
Ramaposa’s arrival will be preceded by a full military procession, which will include a 21-gun salute – a traditional rendering of a salute by the firing of a cannon. The President will take the salute on a podium outside the National Assembly building. At that time, the military band, the Navy Band on this occasion plays the national anthem, the 21-gun salute will happen alongside a salute flight by the South African Air Force.
As the president takes to the podium Bradley van Sitters will lead the president as the praise singer for the occasion. Trained in the Khoekhoegowab language, van Sitters will welcome the President into the house.
The #Imbongi for this #SONA2019 is poet, Mr Bradley Van Sitters. The determination of the #SONa Poet, who will usher President Ramaphosa into the #NA Chamber ahead of the delivery of SONA, was made in conjunction with the Khoisan Council and the House of Tradtional Leaders pic.twitter.com/Q0WZY3ayVW
— Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) June 20, 2019