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Pomp over progress at SONAFebruary 9, 2024
Every year millions of rand are spent on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) held in
Cape Town. This year a whopping R6 million was allocated to SONA preparations and
proceedings. This extravagant spending has raised eyebrows, considering the
economic struggles faced by millions of South Africans.
The budget covers costs like leasing laptops, printing documents, and installing
equipment in preparation for the event. Security is a major factor, with expenditures on
road closures, police and military personnel. Catering is another big-ticket item, with
gala dinners held before and after the speech.
Transport and accommodation for MPs, diplomats and guests drive up the bill.
Hundreds of domestic flights and hotel rooms must be booked. Luxury vehicles ferry
VIPs between venues.
Critics argue this opulent affair is out of touch at a time when unemployment hovers
around 35%. With the cost of living soaring, taxpayers are left wondering if their money
could be better spent. More austerity might be for an event meant to discuss improving
The SONA budget climbs yearly, begging the question – are these sky-high spending
truly necessary? South Africans deserve an efficient government, not one that splurges