Guests, MPs walk the red carpet ahead of Sona 2019 address

From security to the requisite red carpet, officials were doing final preparations for the address scheduled to start at 7pm.

Cathy and the Trolley Dollies in Cape Town were the DA's special guests for the 2019 Sona on 20 June 2019. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - With hours to go before President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his third State of the Nation Address (Sona), the finishing touches were being put to the event.

From security to the requisite red carpet, officials were doing final preparations for the address scheduled to start at 7pm.

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Parliamentary staffers were taping and vacuuming the red carpet, where Members of Parliament and guests would show off their fashion sense.

Outside Parliament, traffic police blocked off roads, while members of the armed forces were drilling for their part in the ceremony.

Official proceedings were expected to start at 4pm.

MPs were also beginning to make their way to Parliament. The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Natasha Mazzone was one of the first MPs to arrive at the Parliamentary precinct.

She was dressed in a sleek, fitted long black dress.

Mazzone told Eyewitness News what she was hoping for from Ramaphosa’s speech.

“I’m hoping that the president announces that there is going to be real reform at Eskom. We were told in the last Sona that Eskom would be changes and we haven’t seen these changes yet. Eskom still remains one of the biggest threats to our economy,” she said.

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EWN also questioned Mazzone on the DA’s stance in the alleged racial incident involving fellow member Phumzile Van Damme at the V&A Waterfront earlier this week.

"There’s investigations that are undergoing and Ms Van Damme is dealing directly with the V&A Waterfront. And I have no doubt that she will inform the party as to what are the outcomes are," Mazzone said.

The Economic Freedom Fighters' chief whip in Parliament Floyd Shivambu also arrived, dressed in the standard red overalls of the party s MPs. However, he was away from the media attention on the red carpet and declined to answer reporters’ questions.

Three drag queens have also done their mince down the red carpet in the hopes that the president will spend some of his time tonight speaking about the protection of the LGBTI community.

The three are guests of the DA and together form a musical act called Cathy and the Trolley Dollies.

The three long-legged beauties clad in sparkly, skimpy black flight attendant outfits caused quite a stir on the red carpet in the Parliamentary precinct. They go by the names Cathy, Holly and Molly.

Holly and Cathy said the DA invited them to highlight the importance of diversity in society.

Other MPs and special guests have also arrived ahead of the speech.

Follow EWN's LIVE BLOG: Last-minute prep, red carpet looks before Sona 2019 round 2

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)