No frills virtual Sona set to cost Parliament just over R100k
While Parliament budgeted R2.2 million for the event, the bill was expected to be minimal because the only significant cost would be the webinar that connects parliamentarians and guests online.
CAPE TOWN – National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise said that the cost of this year’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) would be around R100,000 – a massive saving.
While Parliament budgeted R2.2 million for the event, the bill was expected to be minimal because the only significant cost would be the webinar that connected parliamentarians and guests online.
Only 50 people – including President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy, David Mabuza – will be in the chamber.
Thursday night’s no-frills State of the Nation Address will be short on ceremonial trappings but will result in a huge saving for Parliament.
Speaker Thandi Modise said: “We expect that the only cost that we will bear in this particular Sona, as Parliament, will be the costs of paying for the virtual connectivity. Thus far, Parliament is estimating just over R100,000 for this whole exercise.”
A bit more will be spent on candles for the ceremony to be led by President Ramaphosa before he speaks when he will mark the passing of the more than 46,000 South Africans who have succumbed to COVID-19.
National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairperson Amos Masondo: “Compared to what Parliament has spent in the past, there are significant savings – and all money that is not used will be diverted to the urgent and serious needs in the work of Parliament.”
This includes beefing up Parliament’s own information technology.