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'Budget speech to go ahead, there's space for Sona'

The chief whips of political parties met earlier on Wednesday to discuss the next step after Tuesday’s decision to postpone Sona.

FILE: DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen in Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - While a new date for the State of the Nation Address (Sona) has yet to be decided, party chief whips have been told the budget will still be delivered on 21 February.

The chief whips of political parties met earlier on Wednesday to discuss the next step after Tuesday’s decision to postpone Sona.

At issue was finding a new date for Sona hopefully as soon as next week, so as not to interfere with a tight timetable for the budget process.

But Parliament’s planning is dependent on the outcome of the African National Congress’ (ANC) internal processes in its bid to ensure a smooth transition.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu had nothing but this to say to journalists as he emerged from the meeting.

“It will be a breach of confidence that all those chief whips have in this chief whip.”

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen says while no date’s been set, there’s space in Parliament’s programme for Sona to take place next Thursday. Chief whips will meet again once there is word from the ANC.

“Obviously, we would like to this happening sooner rather than later, I think the longer there’s uncertainty the worse it is for the country and the worse it is for Parliament. So, I think that we should try and get some clear indication, certainly within the next 24 hours.”

Steenhuisen says they were given the assurance that the national Budget will still be delivered on 21 February.

LISTEN: Baleka Mbete announces Sona postponement

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