Parliament’s presiding officers have reassured the public of the institution’s readiness to host 2020’s state of the nation address (Sona).

In a statement released on Tuesday, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said they had “sufficient mechanisms to ensure an orderly Sona”, which will be delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday evening 13 February.

“Existing joint rules of parliament sufficiently protect the houses and committee from disorder,” Mothapo said.

Mothapo said that open threats to disrupt parliament were not in the interests of the public, further saying that the threats served only as an attempt to distract parliament from its work.

This comes after the EFF reiterated in a statement that they would not allow the proceedings of Sona to continue “as long as Gordhan remains as a minister”.

“Parties or members of parliament with evidence of any alleged plot to unlawfully use police in the chamber during Sona are advised to submit it to the presiding officers,” Mothapo said.

He said that South Africans were faced with various socio-economic issues and that it was parliament and public representatives’ responsibility to ensure that an orderly Sona was carried out so that issues could be heard along with its solutions.

“The Sona also gives parliament an opportunity for effective oversight over the executive to ensure quality delivery of services,” Mothapo said.

“The presiding officers are looking forward to a successful state of the nation address and are pleased with the state of readiness for this important occasion, as they prepare to host more than 2,000 invited guests on Thursday,” he added.

Mothapo concluded by encouraging the public to follow and participate in the Sona through a wide range of public platforms.

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