Parliament considering alternative venues for SONA, budget

South Africa

Johannesburg – Parliamentary work will go on despite a devastating fire that’s gutted all its key chambers.

Officials are already inspecting city venues to host next month’s State of the Nation Address and the tabling of the national budget.

This after the ANC Parliamentary caucus backtracked on rebuffing offers from the mayor, calling them a political policy.

“We are waiting for an official report from the Department of Public Works. The City of Cape Town, the fire department is in the process of handing over the building,” said National House chairperson Cedrik Frolik.

“It is a scene the police have big interest in and there will be various investigations that will be conducted. At this stage we do not have any indication as yet and we don’t want to speculate because it will open a hornet’s nest.”

ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina said when people are making inputs in a closed meeting, they will come up with their different suggestions.

“But the final caucus statement says we are going to use any public facility in the CBD because they belong to the citizens of SA, and therefore there’s no rejection of any venue by caucus.”

The DA said its offer is genuine, and parties must set aside their differences.

“If this is indeed an attack on our democracy and our democratic institutions, then the best antidote for that is to ensure the work of parliament doesn’t stop,” said DA MP Siviwe Gwarube.

“What we can’t have is that this is also an opportunity for people to loot for tenders to be put out. Let’s use facilities that are available to the country to make sure SONA is done and to make sure committees are sitting.”

The police will be investigating arson.

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