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WATCH | Less pomp and ceremony expected for Sona, with no drones allowed over city hall

The police are expected to have a heightened presence in the city centre and authorities have warned that the area around the city hall will be a no-fly zone.

08 February 2022 - 15:10 By Maryam Adams

This year's state of the nation address is likely to include some of the usual elements, but with “a very limited ceremony”. 

Speaker of parliament Novisiwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the defence force's ceremonial guard will participate in this year's Sona.

“For me, those are the two critical elements,” said Mapisa-Nqakula as she explained the ceremonial procedure for Sona, which will be held at the new parliamentary precinct, based at the city hall.

During the address, 298 MPs will be seated in the chamber,  made up of 238 members of the National Assembly and 60 permanent delegates from the National Council of Provinces. 

“The proportional representation of political parties was a key consideration in allocating seats for MPs,” noted Mapisa-Nqakula.

Some of the roads around city hall have been closed leading up to the event.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) released a statement warning anyone who tries to disrupt the proceedings. 

“The Natjoints has directed all law-enforcement agencies securing the Sona to execute their duties according to their constitutional mandate and within relevant prescripts.”

A notice to all airmen (Notam) has been issued by the Civil Aviation Authority which restricts the airspace within 1.5 nautical miles of the city hall on February 10 2022 between 1pm and midnight.

“Only the air force will have flexible use of airspace during this period. Please note that this is strictly a no-fly zone for drones,” Natjoints said in a statement. 

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