Costs slashed by millions for Eastern Cape state of the province event

14 June 2019 - 12:52 By Nomazima Nkosi
Eastern Cape legislature speaker Helen Sauls-August says the budget for this year's Sopa has been reduced from R5m to between R700,000 and R800,000.
Eastern Cape legislature speaker Helen Sauls-August says the budget for this year's Sopa has been reduced from R5m to between R700,000 and R800,000.
Image: Zolile Menzelwa

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane will deliver his first state of the province address without the usual pomp and ceremony.

The budget for the event has been reduced from R5m to between R700,000 and R800,000, legislature speaker Helen Sauls-August said on Thursday.

She said having it outside the legislature had proved costly and had to be reviewed in the national spirit of cost-cutting.

Sauls-August announced that official openings of the legislature would no longer be held outside the chamber and the number of guests would be reduced from 1,200 to 650. Catering would be reduced from a three-course meal to a finger lunch, she said.

“The legislature will make an estimated saving of R2.5m a year, or R12.5m over the five years.”

In another cost-cutting move, there will be no traditional praise singer at President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (Sona) in parliament on Thursday. The junior guard and civil guard of honour are also out of the window.

These are some of the changes that have been introduced ahead of Ramaphosa’s address. They were announced on Thursday by National Assembly deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli.

Tsenoli said‚ as was the case with the Sona in February‚ there would also be no state-sponsored dinner for MPs and VIPs.

- HeraldLIVE


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