The State of the Nation Address usually takes place in February. However, in a year when there is a general election, two addresses take place, one to mark the final session of the outgoing Parliament and the other after the elections, when the new President and Parliament are acknowledged.
- Public participation is an important part of the ceremony and members of the public are invited to participate in the ceremony as invited guests of Parliament.
- South African citizens from across the country form part of the Junior and Civil Guards of Honour.
- The Civil Guard of Honour, which welcomes the President to Parliament, comprises ordinary South Africans.
- The Junior Guard of Honour is drawn from schools around the country and represents the country's youth.
- Eminent South Africans are usually invited to be part of the activities; they are drawn from all nine provinces and are individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the country.
- State of the Nation Address, 14 February 2013
- State of the Nation Address, 9 February 2012
- State of the Nation Address, 10 February 2011
- State of the Nation Address, 11 February 2010
- State of the Nation Address, 3 June 2009
During every State of the Nation Address and opening of Parliament, roads in areas surrounding the Parliament buildings in Cape Town are closed temporarily. To plan your route in advance, find detailed information: Road closures for opening of Parliament