The speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the State of The Nation Address (SONA) will not be postponed.
On Sunday morning shortly after 6 am a fire broke out in the offices of the Old Assembly and quickly spread to the National Assembly.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is meant to deliver the SONA to the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, 10 February at 7 pm.
In a briefing that took place while firefighters were still battling to contain the blaze, Mapisa Nqakula said: “Ours is to find an alternative venue to now hold this State of the Nation Address.”
President Ramaphosa was being briefed throughout the day about the fire and the initial extent of the damage.
Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula saddened by the fire at Parliament pic.twitter.com/gB5fekDbA7
— Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) January 2, 2022
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) January 2, 2022
Mapisa-Nqakula also asked that people not speculate as the cause of the fire until this has been determined as the result of an investigation that has already begun: “My plea with those on social media is that, until such a time that a report has been furnished that there was arson, we have to be careful not to make suggestions that there was an attack.”