While a total of 890 guests were invited 920 confirmed that they will attend the opening of the Legislature and State of the Province-Address (Sopa) to be delivered by the Premier, Stan Mathabatha, at Jack Botes Hall in Polokwane tomorrow (Friday).
Speaker of the Legislature Polly Boshielo told journalists at a press conference held at Parliamentary Village on Tuesday that the fact that the opening of the Legislature and Sopa will take place in Polokwane has nothing to do with a possible relocating of the Legislature to Polokwane, but all to do with cost-effectiveness and the fact that the hall can accommodate 1 000 people, whereas the Legislature could only accommodate 200 guests.
She said the Legislature saves around 75% of the costs by hosting the function in Polokwane as they save on hiring a tent and toilets and on transport costs.
The declaration of the Jack Botes Hall as the precinct of the Legislature will be conducted by Boshielo on Friday. She warned all guests to bring their invitations for accreditation purposes, or they would not be allowed inside the hall.
Boshielo informed that the Sopa’s main purpose is to provide the Premier with an opportunity to address citizens of the province on progress made by government in service delivery and outline government programmes for the 2017/18 financial year.
Learners from Hans Merensky High School and Sekgosese High School will form the guard of honour during the event. A traditional Xitsonga group will entertain guests. Groups are usually rotated, and last year’s Sopa was graced by an isiNdebele group.
“Security measures will be implemented as usual to ensure the safety of guests,” Boshielo said.
The proceedings will be widely broadcasted. The speech will be broadcast live on DStv channel 408, SABC Combo and community radio stations throughout Limpopo. The Sopa will commence at 10:00 and all guests are expected to take their places by 09:00. Nobody will be allowed inside the hall once the doors have been closed.
Boshielo said arrangements so far have been going well and she was happy with the progress.
Story & photo: NELIE ERASMUS