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#Sona2019: No snacks or speaker’s dinner for MPs tonight

Parliament’s presiding officers say they have taken into account the country’s economic climate, scaling back on the trimmings and the side events.

President Cyril Ramaphosa inspecting the state of readiness around Parliament ahead of his State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The final State of the Nation Address for this current political term will be delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night.

But it will be a much more spartan affair than in previous years.

Parliament’s presiding officers say they have taken into account the country’s economic climate, scaling back on the trimmings, the side events and the even the guest list.

The cutbacks will save Parliament 47% on last year’s event - but the pomp and ceremony still don’t come cheap at R2.5 million.

This will be one of two State of the Nation Addresses that Parliament will host this year, given that it’s an election year.

But you won’t be seeing Parliamentary branding flying from the poles at the airport and along the route that will guide the procession to Parliament this year.

That decision alone will result in a saving of almost R1 million.

There will also be no snacks for MPs to nibble on as they wait for this evening’s proceedings to start and for the second year running, there will be no speaker’s dinner afterwards.

The usual list of eminent guests has also been slashed, and only those who are paying their own way to get to Cape Town will be present.

Former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki are expected in the gallery, as well as former speakers Frene Ginwala and Max Sisulu. Former President Jacob Zuma, however, will be giving it a skip.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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