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SONA cost taxpayer R11m, not R4m – says DA

The party says questions to the ministers of police and public works revealed that their departments spent R4 million and R2.7 million, respectively.

FILE: An SANDF soldier patrols in the streets near the Parliament ahead of the arrival of President Zuma for the opening ceremony of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on 9 February 2017. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURHG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the government has spent at least R11 million on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) event, from the initial budget of R4 million.

The party says the replies to written questions to the ministers of police and public works revealed that their departments spent R4 million and R2.7 million, respectively.

The opposition party says the state security department avoided answering the question, claiming that their enormous deployment to the event came from the normal operational budget of the agency.

DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen says this is an increasing cost for South Africans.

“It appears the SONA is costing South African taxpayers in excess of the R11 million. This is completely ridiculous given more and more people are being pushed away from Sona, the security costs are sky rocketing and the whole costs of the event of the day are ridiculous compared to the opportunity costs of the day.”

WATCH: Parliament's glitz and glam

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)