All systems go for President’s inauguration

23 May 2014

After successfully staging its fifth democratic elections, South Africa is finalising its preparations for the inauguration of President-elect Jacob Zuma, who will be sworn in for a second term of office at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Members of Parliament elected Zuma to serve for another five years as President with former trade unionist and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy.

Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane said preparations had been under way for the past few weeks to ensure that Saturday’s inauguration is a success.

Thousands of ordinary South Africans, as well as around 40 current and former heads of state, are expected to gather at the Union Buildings to witness the swearing in by South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

After taking his oath shortly after 11am, Zuma will deliver his inaugural address, signalling the start of the new five-year administration. In the days following, he will elect his new team of Cabinet ministers. The first State of the Nation address of the new term, outlining the government’s programme for the next five years, will follow in the coming weeks.

There was an increased security presence at Waterkloof Air Force Base outside Pretoria on Friday ahead of the arrival of current and former heads of state who will be attending the inauguration.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation confirmed on Friday that heads of state and government (presidents, prime ministers or royalty) of 40 African countries would be in attendance on Saturday, along with seven former heads of state.

South Africa’s BRICS partner countries will be represented at the event by Brazilian Vice-President Michel Temer, outgoing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese Home Affairs Minister Li Liguo, and Sergey Naryshkin, chairman of the State Duma of Russia’s Federal Assembly.

African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and a representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will also be among the guests.

SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter