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#Sona2015: Final prep underway at Parly

President Jacob Zuma will deliver his 8th State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly at 7pm.

FILE: Security at the Parliamentary compound is a top priority. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Final preparations are underway at Parliament ahead of President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (Sona) this evening.

It remains to be seen if the event will go off without a hitch as dozens of Parliamentary staffers are on strike, demanding, among other things, a 13th cheque.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament (MPs) have also threatened to disrupt the president's speech with questions on the Nkandla debacle.

TIGHT SECURITY

Security at the Parliamentary compound is a top priority this year given the EFF's threats.

Police and other security officials have spent much of this morning scouring the Parliamentary precinct

Dozens of police and law enforcement officials can also be seen patrolling the streets and roads around Parliament which have been closed with just a few hours to go until official proceedings kick off.

Workers have gone into overdrive to ensure the precinct is spotless.

Several media houses have also set up camp awaiting one of the most highly anticipated Sona in years.

DA WILL NOT BE IN FESTIVE MODE

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is to boycott all festivities surrounding this evening's event.

DA parliamantary leader Mmusi Maimane says the opposition party caucus will arrive as a group, and will proceed straight to the National Assembly ahead of the president's speech.

He says at a time when the country is in crisis, the DA will not be celebrating the event as a red carpet occasion.

"South Africans have very little to celebrate. We can't be parading on the red carpet. We have to go into the chamber. The caucus will be united and sombre. The real issues are unemployment and load shedding. South Africans are in the dark," says Maimane.

POTENTIAL FOR LOAD SHEDDING

Eskom says its doing all it can to keep the lights on tonight, but due to the strain on the power grid it's in no position to make promises.

Despite concerns around a confrontation and electricity supply, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says Parliament is more than ready for tonight's event.

"I'm look forward to tonight. And I hope everybody is also looking forward along with us. We will welcome the president to come and do his job," says Mbete.

WATCH: Behind the scenes at Sona

Meanwhile, scenario planner Clem Sunter says job creation should feature prominently in Zuma's speech.

"I'd love him to say we're going to set up a formal vehicle to have these conversations to implement the National Development Plan but also to create a brand new generation of entrepreneurs. That would be a very uplifting thing, I'd forget about Nkandla and everything else and I'd say, gosh, we finally got it!."

Sona 2015 by numbers

Zuma has a date with the nation at 7pm tonight.

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