The weather might not be kind to those attending the live version of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) tonight. Rain swept across Cape Town on the morning of the opening of parliament, which might just lead to a few revisions of outfits chosen to swan down the red carpet Hollywood style.
But for those of us watching and listening at home or via social networks, there is plenty of choice as to how to plug in to the country’s primary political pageant.
eNCA (channel 403 on DStv) has decided to do things differently this year. While senior political reporter Hajra Omarjee and journalist Lester Kiewit will work the event, bringing viewers interviews, views and reactions, the channel has pressed Marie Claire editor, Aspasia Karras, into service to provide commentary on the red carpet as a fashion runway. And it’s bound to have viewers riveted as we await some ‘bling of the nation’.
If Lindiwe Mazibuko’s shoes are anything to go by… check out Emily Gambade’s preview of the DA parliamentary leader’s wardrobe on Daily Maverick today.
Coverage starts at 12pm with News Day anchor Andrew Barnes in the hotseat. He will be joined by News Night’s Iman Rappetti from 5pm. Providing political insights is Abdul Waheed Patel, who will also be on air from 5pm.
South Africa’s favourite satirical show, you know the one that still doesn’t have the backing of a major channel but is beloved of most South Africans with a sense of humour, ZA News? Well, the clever writers have created something special for Sona. Two somethings, actually, according to writer Marianne Thamm. There’s “one with Zuma as Tinky Winkie (from Teletubbies) writing a Valentine’s Day version of ‘Communists are Red, The DA is Blue, Msholozi likes Custard, so F&*% all of you’. He will be interviewed by Debora and will talk about the NDP: the Nkandla Development Plan…” Catch up with ZA News on TopTV and online.
The Government Communications and Information Service has ensured that no South Africans will lack access to Zuma’s Sona. Not only with the SABC be broadcasting the speech on television and radio, but large screen televisions have been set up in various communities around the country as part of its stakeholder engagement programme. From the Richtersveld to Vhembe, the Durban City Hall to the University of the Free State, communities will be able to watch all the action live.
The public were invited to send in the comments to President Zuma, using various social media challenges such as his Twitter feed, @PresidencyZA and his Facebook page. The speech will also be transmitted via Parliament’s website. Viewers are asked to use the hashtag #sona2013 to interact with the president’s speech as it happens.
The SABC has been running an informal survey on its SABCNews.com site asking viewers what Zuma should pay particular attention to tonight. There’s also a preview on its YouTube channel on what the president is expected to talk about.
Eyewitness News has created a special State of the Nation content portal in honour of the occasion. It looks back over the past year to see what promises were kept, and which were not, and also previews five key issues to look out for in tonight’s address. There are also a series of feature stories that look at rape, job creation and business, among other topics of interest. The site also has audio posts on stories from corruption to the jobs fund, all issues Zuma is expected to cover. Follow @StephenGrootes and @702David for live updates from outside parliament.
Some good people to follow on Twitter today.
Hajra Omarjee @HajraOmarjee
Lester Kiewit @LesterKiewit
Jacaranda Newsroom @jacanews
Carien du Plessis @carienduplessis
Mail & Guardian @mailandguardian
Chester Missing @chestermissing
SABC News @SABCnews
eNews Channel @eNCA
Aspasia Karras @aspasiakarras
Ranjeni Munusamy @ranjenyM
The action starts at 7pm.