National Council of Provinces chair Thandi Modise says that a week will be enough to resolve the issues that forced her and Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete to postpone the annual State of the Nation Address.
Speaking after Mbete announced that the Sona would be postponed to create enough time for a “much more conducive political atmosphere” to be established‚ Modise said that a new date for the event had not yet been scheduled – but that they wanted it sooner rather than later.
“We do have a proposal [to postpone] by not more than a week. So‚ if we can‚ a week will be sufficient‚” Modise said during a Q& A session after the hastily called briefing on Tuesday.
The Sona – which is also the official opening of Parliament — was originally scheduled to take place on Thursday‚ February 8.
The annual budget speech‚ delivered by the finance minister‚ was scheduled for just two weeks later‚ on February 21. Mbete said every effort was being made to ensure the Sona postponement did not affect the budget speech.
“This postponement has taken into account scheduled tabling of the budget in the next two weeks‚ and we are going all out to make sure that the budget is not disturbed or‚ in fact‚ postponed at all because that would affect the lives of the Republic.
“We wish to assure fellow South Africans and everyone affected by this decision that these actions are being taken in the best interest of parliament and the country. A new date for Sona will be announced very‚ very soon‚” she said.
– TimesLIVE/Matthew Savides