Cape Town City Hall has been handed over to the team from Parliament to prepare for the State of the Nation Address. After a fire that broke out on 3 January 2022, the National Assembly and surrounding buildings were damaged.
On 31 January, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis did a ceremonial handover of the building and the key to the speaker of the National Assembly. During the ceremony, she said: “One of the greatest losses in this destruction is the loss of the National Assembly chamber….However, we have found the City Hall to be the most suitable facility, meeting all the parliamentary requirements regarding infrastructure and capacity.”
In the wake of the fire, critics have questioned whether the budget to host SONA will be increased with the change in venue. In a report to Parliamentarians the Secretary to the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso said they are doing their best to stay within budget. He estimated a budget of R1,9 million would be needed for the SONA 2022. Xaso also confirmed that MP’s would comply with all Covid-19 regulations and only 300 MPs from both houses of Parliament would attend.