SONA2019: Here are details you need to know


The South African State of the Address is taking place on 7 February at 7 pm in Parliament in Cape Town. Here are some details you need to know.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the state of the Nation Address (SONA)during a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces) on 7 February 2019 at 7 pm.

Besides the widely covered red-carpet fashion, there are many things on the agenda this year as politicians gear up for the upcoming elections in May. The theme for this year’s SONA is: “Following up on our commitments: Making Your Future Work Better”.

Here are the details you need to know before the event:

SONA is set to be a full ceremonial occasion once again

It will involve a ceremonial parade exhibiting military traditions, drills and the ethos of the army, the navy and the air force of the Republic of South Africa. This includes a national salute by the Ceremonial Guard of the South African National Defence Force, a military band, a salute flight by the South African Air Force and a 21-gun salute. Processions on the red carpet from the Slave Lodge to the National Assembly building will reflect the three arms of the state – the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive.

When is SONA taking place?

Scheduled time: 7 pm

Where to watch SONA?

Different media outlets will be streaming and airing SONA both online and on DStv. The State of the Nation Address will be broadcast live on DStv Channel 408, SABC TV, eNCA, ANN7, SABC radio stations and Parliament’s YouTube Channel.


What happens during the State of the Nation Address?

  • The President sets out the government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead;
  • It highlights the achievements and challenges experienced over the past year and maps the year ahead;
  • It covers wide-ranging political, economic and social matters and considers the general state of South Africa;
  • It deliberates on South Africa’s domestic affairs as well as its continental and international relations;
  • The full address is recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.


What happens after SONA?

SONA marks the opening of parliament and political parties will gather and get an opportunity to debate, comment and raise questions on matters addressed in the President’s speech during a debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address. This debate will likely take place over two days in a joint sitting next week.