Road closures for Cyril's SONA start at 6am Friday‚ says Cape Town council
For the first time in almost a decade someone other than Jacob Zuma is set to walk the red carpet to the doors of Parliament to deliver the State of the Nation Address.
The occasion is usually dripping with pomp and ceremony but it is unclear whether this will be the case for Cyril Ramaphosa's debut speech on Friday.
Usually guests from around the country are invited to the ceremony‚ and it seems Cape Town International Airport will be ready.
Deidre Davids‚ Airports Company South Africa spokesman‚ said the airport expected a busy 24 hours leading up to the address.
“But we would deal with that from an operational perspective and make sure that we have our relevant plans in place‚” said Davids‚ adding that airlines had their own operational plans.
Meanwhile‚ the City of Cape Town is yet to find out about SONA rehearsals‚ which are usually held in the days leading up to the address.
“We have no confirmation on rehearsal as yet‚” said traffic services spokesman Richard Coleman.
But it released information on Thursday about temporary road closures ahead of the event‚ noting that the government and the police had asked that roads — mostly in the CBD — should be closed from 6am to midnight on Friday.
“The road closures will affect the normal flow of traffic in and around the city bowl‚ Newlands‚ and the M3 and N2 city-bound lanes. As such‚ road users are asked to plan their routes accordingly‚” said a council statement.
“Road users are also alerted to the closure of the M3 and N2 at 17:45 on Friday. The M5 will be the best option as an alternative route.”
TimesLIVE could not establish if the South African National Defence Force is ready for Friday's proceedings.
In the past‚ the event involved a ceremonial motor escort‚ the lining of the president’s route by the SANDF‚ a salute by the ceremonial guard of the SANDF‚ a military band and a flyover by the air force. In addition‚ there is a 21-gun salute.
Details of the road closures can be found here.