16 May 2019
Members of the IMC
Senior officials of government
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
I would like to first welcome you and the thank you for coming to this briefing on preparations for the Presidential Inauguration scheduled to take place on the 25th of May, at Loftus Stadium.
South Africa has recently emerged from successful, Free and Fair National and Provincial Elections, a process in which all South Africans can take pride in their display of patriotism and allegiance to our Constitution as citizens exercised their democratic right to vote.
On the 22nd May parliament will use the first sitting to swear-in members of the sixth parliament and to elect its presiding officers. Once the MPs are sworn-in, they will elect a president whose inauguration will be on Saturday the 25th of May where we will then inaugurate the country’s sixth democratically elected President of the democratic republic as demanded by the constitution.
The inauguration will be held under the theme - Together celebrating democracy: Renewal and growth for a better South Africa.
The ceremony coincides with Africa Day, where as a continent we celebrate the establishment of the African Union because this is the day the OAU was formed and just to celebrate unity and our unique African identity. The inauguration also comes at a time when South Africa is celebrating 25 years of Freedom.
Today as the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) we are pleased to update the nation on the state of readiness for the inauguration ceremony. The IMC is coordinated by the Minister in the Presidency and the technical committee is led by the Director General in the Presidency.
Who will attend
The Inauguration will be attended All Heads of State and governments of the Southern African Development Community have been invited to witness this auspicious occasion. The guests also include representatives from the continental regional economic blocks, former Liberation Movements, fraternal countries, the African Union, United Nations, members of the Diplomatic corps and eminent persons and former Presidents of the Republic. We have limited the invitation to the heads of state in line with our cost cutting measures.
Four thousand five hundred guests have been invited from various sectors of society, including Parliamentarians, The Judiciary, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Premiers, MECs and Executive Mayors. We have also invited members of the diplomatic corps, religious sector, etc.
We expect close to 32 000 (thirty two thousands) people to come to the stadium. Twenty two thousand of those will be bussed from Gauteng and neighbouring Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State provinces and ten thousand of these will be the walk-ins. The total capacity of the stadium is 37 000.
For the first time in South African history the inauguration will be held at Loftus Versfeld Stadium instead of the Union Buildings.
We chose the stadium because it is more cost effective compared to using the Union Buildings, which carries high preparation costs in particular the preparation of the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre. In line with the government austerity measures, we were happy to go with least costly option.
The other reason for electing the stadium is for inauguration to be as inclusive as possible by allowing the main events of the inauguration of the President-Elect to take place in one venue.
Order of proceedings
The stadium will open from 3am in the morning. The programme will be co-directed by the Speaker of the fifth parliament, Hon. Baleka Mbete, and the Deputy Secretary General of the Majority party in parliament, Ms Jessie Duarte. The official programme will start at 10:55 am with the arrival of the President Elect, followed by inter-faith prayers led by the Chaplain General.
The President elect will take the Oath of Office as part of the swearing in ceremony performed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and then proceed to sign the swearing - in certificate. Thereafter The President will take up position for the National Salute:
After the rendition of the National Anthem; the President will continue with his address to the Nation. The President’s address will be followed by the Massed Fly Past by South African Air Force and SAA.
Accreditation and park and ride
Invited Guests received Inauguration information packages and should refer to the aide memoire for details of the Accreditation, and Park and Ride facilities.
All the walk-ins for general access to the stadium must still be accredited through the accreditation service point at Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool, popularly known as Affies. This Accreditation point will open from 3 am and will close at 7 am, and no one will be allowed into the venue without accreditation!
There will also be a Park-and-ride for the general access to the stadium from the Tshwane Events Centre to the Accreditation Centre. The shuttles will commence from 3:00 am to 6:30.
We encourage people arrive at the park and ride early to avoid disappointment.
Information pertaining to road closures is still being finalised as the security team continues to work with relevant stakeholders to minimise the impact on residents and the general public.
The gates of the stadium will be opened at 3:00am on 25 May 2019.
All preparations for the event have made provision for the people with disability. The host broadcaster, SABC, will have the South African Sign Language Interpretation on screen during the broadcast. We also will have sign language interpreters on stage. The stadium also has adequate ramp access for wheelchairs. In provinces, where live viewings will be taking place, all such arrangements will be put in place as well.
Members of the public attending the occasion are advised that the following items are forbidden at the event:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Firearms or weapons
- Bottles or cans.
Members of the media will be transported from the Park and Ride. The Park area will be provided to the media when they collect their accreditation.
A Media Centre has been arranged at the Stadium for members of the media, which will provide sound and television feed and other related courtesies. All media related queries are handled by the GCIS.
Public viewing information
People are encouraged to go to different public viewing sites across the nine provinces. The ceremony will be showed LIVE on the sites. A list and addresses of the viewing sites, with the contact person(s) and the coordinates is available on the government website (www.gov.za\inaguaration 2019).
The proceedings of the Presidential Inauguration will be livestreamed on the Government website: www.gov.za\inauguration2019.
Members of the public can follow the Presidential Inauguration and interact on social media via Twitter: @GovernmentZA / @SAGovNews and Facebook: GovernmentZA.
The official Presidential Inauguration hashtag is #SAInauguration19. More updates can be accessed through a special APP that has been developed for the inauguration, details will be made available in due cause.
Government would like to encourage all South Africans to be part of this momentous occasion in our country. Those who cannot attend will be able to follow proceedings on television and radio, or at public viewing areas in the provinces.
Acting Director General of the GCIS
Cell: 083 5010139