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Sona 2017: Security expected to be tighter than ever

The secretary to Parliament says preparations are on track for the event, which will cost an estimated R4 million.

FILE: ANC MPs congratulate the President after his response to the Sona 2015 debate. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Security for this year's State of the Nation Address (Sona) is expected to be tighter than ever, with extended road closures and a beefed-up police presence to deal with any protest marches.

WATCH: EFF escorted out of #Sona2016

President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver his address next Thursday night.

The secretary to Parliament says preparations are on track for the event, which will cost an estimated R4 million.

Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana has given an assurance that cellphone signals won’t be jammed and that journalists will have freedom of movement.

Security for the event is a joint operation involving Parliament, the police, the State Security Agency and other departments, as well as the City of Cape Town and the provincial government.

“The planning that needs to happen is to make sure that we have a very good event at Parliament. So from a planning perspective, it’s all systems go.”

Mgidlana could not confirm speculation that 6,000 extra police will be in Cape Town to deal with any protests.

The Economic Freedom Fighters asked speaker Baleka Mbete to shelve the event so that parties can debate Parliament’s failure to hold the president to account after the Constitutional Court found he breached his oath of office over the Nkandla matter.

WATCH: Malema: This is the beginning of the end for Zuma

To view EWN's feature on key moments from the Nkandla saga, click here.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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