Zuma's 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA)

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The 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by Jacob Zuma will be delivered in the context of the job creation and economic infrastructure development. The 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by Jacob Zuma will be delivered in the context of the job creation and economic infrastructure development.
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The 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma will be delivered in the context of the job creation and economic infrastructure development.

Zuma will deliver his State of the Nation address in Parliament today live on television from 7pm.

The address will be his last as president of the current government, before the elections on 7 May this year.

This year's State of the Nation address will cost R2-million less than it did last year, Parliament's presiding officers announced on Tuesday.

The event, during which President Zuma is expected to outline the progress made by his administration over the past five years and indicated the government's service delivery plans for the coming year.

Analysts were widely expecting Zuma to focus on the ANC government's achievements in the 20 years since the country's first democratic elections in 1994.

Half of South African adults believe that President Zuma and his government are not doing their jobs well, market research company Ipsos said on Wednesday.

These were the results of face-to-face interviews with 3564 randomly selected adult South Africans who were interviewed in their homes and home languages, Ipsos SA's director of public affairs Mari Harris said in a statement.

The interviews were conducted in November last year. Fifty four percent of respondents said Zuma was not doing well.

Of the remaining 46 percent, 17 percent said Zuma was doing very well and 29 percent said he was doing fairly well.

Two State of the Nation addresses
Earlier, National Council of Provinces chairperson Mninwa Mahlangu said Parliament had "definitely taken into account what treasury said about tightening our belts".

He was referring to an announcement by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, made in his medium-term budget policy statement last year, of severe cuts to government perks.

Mahlangu said there would be two State of the Nation addresses this year.

"In a general election year, like this one, there are two State of the Nation addresses, one in February, and another one after the election and the establishment of a new Parliament."

The general election is set to take place on May 7.

Banquet 'cheaper' this year
Responding to a question, National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu said a date for the second address had not been set, but it would be shortly after the election.

Mahlangu stressed that Thursday's event was not the opening of Parliament because the institution had resumed work last month, with a constituency period and an "intense" committee programme.

Thursday's event will be a full ceremonial occasion. It will start at 4pm, with MPs, Cabinet ministers and guests arriving at Parliament's Poorthuys entrance.

As in previous years, there will be processions of dignitaries, including members of the judiciary and provincial premiers, up Parliament Street to the National Assembly.

Zuma's address
Zuma will arrive in time to take the national salute at 6.55pm from a podium in front of the building. This will include a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by aircraft of the South African Air Force. The president's address will be broadcast live.

On preparations at Parliament, Mahlangu said he could say with confidence that all was on track.

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State of the Nation Address (SONA)  |  Jacob Zuma
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