With the State of the Nation Address (SONA 2019) only a week away, Parliament has vowed to have measures in place to ensure that no disruptions are tolerated during the National Assembly (NA) event.
NA Speaker, Thandi Modise, led the Presiding Officers at Thursday’s media briefing on the state of Parliament’s readiness to run a smooth ship.
What to expect from SONA 2019
The chaos which once plagued the dignified occasion has not yet been seen in full display, since President Cyril Ramaphosa replaced former president Jacob Zuma, in February 2018.
With a few spurts of shade between opposition members here and there, NA gatherings have, for the most part, went on with decorum.
However, warning shots from opposition leaders like EFF leader, Julius Malema, were heard soon after the elections were drawn to a close, with the ANC retaining a majority of the seats in Parliament.
Add to that the recent ongoings that have surfaced around how Deputy President; David Mabuza managed to make it in time to be sworn back into his position; Bathabile Dlamini’s fiery resignation and the Public Protector knocking on Ramaphosa’s door, then there might be a chance that this SONA 2019 will not go as smoothly as anticipated.
Parliament will not tolerate disobedience
However, Modise made it abundantly clear that while Presiding Officers have been instructed to utilise the rules of House in instilling discipline, no amount of disobedience from members will be tolerated.
“The question of whether we are expecting any disruptions, we are not expecting any disruptions. We have not been given any indications that there is going to be any disruptions. Have we any contingency measures or extraordinary measures?
“No, we will not. We will stick to what we usually do, our rules. We will ensure that there is decorum. If anything happens we will fall back on our rules and do what we usually do, strictly going through the session, relying on the Rules of a Joint Sitting of Parliament,” she warned.
When is SONA 2019?
Modise further confirmed that the president is set to deliver his SONA speech on Thursday, 20 June.
(Source: The South African)