The State of the Nation Address and the Opening of Parliament will take place tonight at 19:00. President Zuma will address the nation during the evening, so that more people will be able to follow the proceedings and have access to government’s plans for the nation.
The event will be broadcast live on the internet, television and radio.
Watch President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address Live
Read the President's State of the Nation Addresses
What is the State of the Nation Address?
- The State of the Nation Address is an annual address to the nation by the President of the Republic of South Africa. It is usually held on the day of the annual opening of Parliament.
- The President delivers the State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament - the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
- The State of the Nation Address focuses on the current political and socio-economic state of the nation, highlighting the achievements and challenges experienced over the past year and presents the programme for the year ahead.
- The President assesses our country’s domestic and foreign situation, and sets out the direction that should be taken to improve efforts to achieve a better life for South Africans.
- The State of the Nation Address is a state event and it is a key event on our country’s Parliamentary and political calendar.
- It is one of the occasional events where you find the three arms of state, namely the executive (represented by the President, Deputy President and Ministers), the judiciary (represented by the country's Chief Justice and the Judge Presidents) and the legislature (represented by the Members of Parliament), coming together in one place.
- The State of the Nation Address also represents members of the public.
When Does It Take Place?
The State of the Nation is customarily held in February. As 2014 is an election year, this will be the second address for 2014.
The first address marks the final term of the outgoing Parliament and the second one (after the elections), acknowledges the newly elected President and the establishment of the new Parliament. This will be South Africa's fifth democratically elected Parliament since 1994.
What is the Theme for 2014?
The State of the Nation’s theme for this year is “20 Years of a Democratic Parliament” which reflects a milestone in the country’s democracy. The theme aims to capture the essence of Parliament’s focus in exercising its responsibilities.
How Can the Public Participate?
- Members of the public are invited to participate in the ceremony as invited guests of Parliament.
- South African citizens from across the country make up the Civil and Junior Guards of Honour.
- The Civil Guard of Honour, including ordinary South Africans, welcomes the President and his guests to Parliament.
- The Junior Guard of Honour is drawn from schools around the country and represents the country's youth.
- Eminent South Africans usually represent individuals from all provinces and are invited to be part of the activities. They are the people who have shown an exceptional involvement to the country.
Road Closures around Parliament
In conformity with the ceremony of state, roads in areas close to the Parliament buildings in Cape Town are provisionally closed with temporary parking restrictions between 14 and 17 June 2014. Find more details on how to plan your route around the City: Road Closures for Opening of Parliament.
For more information about all the facts on the arrangement of key events on the day of the State of the Nation Address, the address will be streamed live on the Parliament website and the Parliament’s YouTube channel, broadcast live on television and radio, screened on big screens in all provinces and published on Parliament’s social media platforms. Proceedings related to the address will be also broadcast on the Parliament TV Channel #408 on DSTV.