Budget for the State of the National Address reduced by R500,000

President Cyril Ramaphosa is making a point of being less frivolous with the country’s money by cutting costs wherever possible even his 2019 State of the Nation address (SONA), which will be the cheapest in five years.

National assembly speaker Thandi Modise said that cost-cutting measures had been taken due to the recent slump in the economy during the first three months of the year and this SONA would be around R500,000 cheaper than the presidents address in February.

Modise said the budget for February’s SONA had been R2,5-million which was a 47% decrease from 2018, however only R1,6-million had been spent.

This time Parliament has only budgeted R2-million for SONA but indications show that spending will be significantly less, said Modise

The reduction in expense comes from the costs of event marketing and advertising being lessened as well as the removal of the junior and civil guard as well as a shorter invitation list.

Usually a competition is held which sees nine national radio competition winners attending the event, however legislature has decided not to host this.

Ramaphosa’s walk to the national assembly building will also be shorter than normal due to the scale of the event and expected weather conditions.