State of the Nation Address 2022
Why SONA Matters:
10 February 2022
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, 10 February 2022, at 7 pm.
The State of the Nation Address (SONA) is called by the President in terms of Section 42(5) of the Constitution. It is a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament and one of the rare occasions that bring together the three arms of the State under one roof.
SONA provides the President with an opportunity to speak to the nation on the general state of South Africa, to reflect on a wide range of political, economic and social matters within the domestic and global contexts, to account to the nation on the work of Government and to set out Government’s program of action for the coming year. Traditionally, the President makes key Government announcements during this important joint sitting of Parliament.
Since late last year, Parliament has been preparing for SONA by engaging various stakeholders. SONA in its nature is a ceremonial joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, called specifically for only one item on the agenda, the President’s State of the Nation Address. The sitting is presided over jointly by the National Assembly Speaker and the National Council of Provinces Chairperson under the applicable joint rules of Parliament.
- The State of the Nation Address is divided into three parts. The first is the important public participation role in the ceremony when the Civil Guard of Honour welcomes the President and his guests as they walk along the red carpet. This is followed by a state ceremonial, which includes a 21-gun salute and the South African Air Force flypast and finally the official address by the President.
- Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) line the route that the President takes to Parliament.
- The Military Guard of Honour participates in the ceremony and the military band plays South Africa’s national anthem.
- In a general election year, two State of the Nation Addresses are delivered.
- The State of the Nation Address is one of the rare occasions where 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 gather in one place.
- The provincial and local spheres of government are also represented.