South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday will deliver his annual state of the nation address (SONA) amid the pandemic at a hybrid meeting of lawmakers, incumbent and former officials, and diplomatic corps.
The president will address the nation from the lower chamber of parliament. Due to coronavirus precautions, only 30 lawmakers from both houses of the legislature and a limited number of government officials and distinguished guests will be present at the event physically, while the others will join it online.
“The 2021 SONA, scheduled for 7 pm [17:00 GMT], comes at time of great anxiety and hardship, as South Africa and the world fights the deadly COVID-19. The address is an opportunity for the President to speak to the nation about a variety of domestic and global issues. It’s also an opportunity to update the nation on progress with the government’s existing commitments and key plans for the year ahead,” the parliament said in a press release on Wednesday.
Journalists’ physical presence will also be limited, with only 20 media representatives of the 435 having been accredited to cover the event directly from the parliament. The rest will follow the gathering online.
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