#Sona2013 – Live from the address

Follow the Mail & Guardian as we cover President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address live from Cape Town.

8:31:50 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma wraps things up and wishes everyone a happy Valentine’s day. Time to hit the red carpet snd find out what his friends and foes say.

8:30:27 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: As South Africans, we should continue to have primary goal – to make our country a truly great and prosperous nation.

8:28:40 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: This program of action will be implemented differently as activities of departments must be aligned with National Development Plan.

8:26:36 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: We stand with the people of Palestine. The expansion of Israeli settlements is a serious block to the resolution of the conflict.

8:25:08 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma now turns to foreign affairs. Says South Africa stands by Mali, looks forward to political improvement in Zimbabwe and encourage Central Africa Republic and Somalia to work towards lasting peace.

8:20:49 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says incidents of violent protest will be acted upon, investigated and prosecuted.

8:19:18 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says the right to protest cannot supersede the rights of other citizens who affected by said protests.

8:18:37 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: We call on all citizens to celebrate, promote and defend our constitution.

8:17:29 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: There are some lessons from Marikana & other incidents that we cannot allow to recur in our country.

8:16:21 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says all vacant posts at “the upper echelons” of the criminal justice system to boost fight against corruption.

8:15:10 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: We urge the private sector to also take the fight against corruption seriously so that we tackle it from all angles.

8:12:18 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says government will add protection from harassment bill to protect persons who are victims through electronic communication.

8:09:58 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says he’s directed law enforcement agencies to treat gender based violence cases with utmost urgency and importance.

8:08:06 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: The brutality and cruelty meted out to defenceless women is unacceptable and has no place in our country.

8:06:14 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: The brutal gang rape & murder of Anene Booysen and other woman & girls has brought into sharp focus the need for unity in action to eradicate this scourge.

8:03:53 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: There should be peace & stability in agricultural sector and living & working conditions of farm workers must be improved dramatically.

8:01:11 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says “willing buyer, willing seller” principle on land will be abandoned for the “just & equitable” principle for compensation.

7:59:04 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: The land question is a highly emotive matter. We need to resolve it amicably within the framework of the constitution and law.

7:58:13 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: From April 2013 approximately 600 private medical practitioners will be contracted to provide medical services at 533 clinics within villages and townships in 10 of the pilot districts.

7:56:05 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says National Health Insurance Fund will be created in 2014. Department of health to intensify progress in pilot districts.

7:54:33 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: Diseases of lifestyle are on an alarming increase. We have to combat & lower the levels of smoking, alcohol, poor diets & obesity.

7:52:45 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma lauds the increase in life expectancy since 2009. From 56 to 60 years in 2011.

7:50:38 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says a presidential remuneration committee will be established to investigate pay of all state employees – in particular teachers.

7:48:46 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: By saying education is an essential service we are not taking away the constitutional rights of teachers to strike.

7:47:53 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma encourages private sector to partner with government to establish and sponsor maths & science academies or saturday schools.

7:45:57 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: We welcome the improvement each year on education, but more must be done to improve maths, science and technology.

7:44:11 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: We are pleased the grade 12 pass rate is finally on an upward trend.

7:43:09 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma says 2013 will see study conducted on feasibility of tweaking “current mining royalties regime” to “suitably serve our people”

7:42:55 pm - Thu 14 Feb

7:38:54 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: Working together we can restore social stability in the mining sector.

7:37:35 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: We appeal to the private sector to absorb 11000 FET graduates that are awaiting placement.

7:32:21 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: A key project of the presidency is to ensure that government pays SMMEs within the prescribed 30 day period.

7:28:44 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma: To prepare for a bigger economy we need to develop infrastructure more.

7:26:35 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma lists major infrastructural achievements since 2012 #SONA. Says R800m has been spent on upgrades.

7:23:46 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Zuma turns his attention to achievements since last year’s state of the nation address.

7:22:52 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Just made it back into parliamentary imbizo centre. @SAPresident Zuma has begun his SONA address. Big focus on National Development Plan.

7:07:54 pm - Thu 14 Feb

President Zuma makes his way into parliamentary chambers. Military parade begins to disperse. Let’s get down to business.

7:05:43 pm - Thu 14 Feb

President Zuma reaches the top of the red carpet, receiving a 21 gun salute as Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika plays.

7:00:58 pm - Thu 14 Feb

The president’s first wife, Ma’Khumalo is following behind him and Sisulu. His other three wives are already in the parliamentary chamber.

6:58:11 pm - Thu 14 Feb

President Jacob Zuma has begun his march up the red carpet, flanked by parliamentary speaker Max Sisulu.

6:50:26 pm - Thu 14 Feb

There’s a relative calm in the air as we await the arrival of president Jacob Zuma. The brass band continues unabated. Journos & dignitaries alike, check their watches and tap their feet.

6:44:33 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe makes his way up the red carpet, cheerfully waving as he goes.

6:39:07 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Next up… Chief Justice Moegeng Moegeng leads all constitutional court judges up the red carpet.

6:36:00 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Full military procession up the red carpet and all provincial premiers follow. We’re getting close to the president’s arrival.

6:27:57 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Parliamentary speaker Max Sisulu has also arrived. He makes his way up the red carpet as the brass band belts out “The lion sleeps tonight.”

6:25:14 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Planning minister Trevor Manuel and his wife scurry across the red carpet and enter parliament’s side door.

6:20:07 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Back on the red carpet, parliamentary big wigs are marching up to parliament’s entrance while the brass band plays away.

6:15:07 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Mosiuoa Lekota Cope President:

Our history has led us to act inhumanely towards one another. Guns are not the answer to our problems.

6:11:55 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Mandla Mandela ANC MP:

Violence is on the rise in our society and guns are a big part of that.

6:09:50 pm - Thu 14 Feb

FF+ leader Pieter Mulder:

People are using guns to protect themselves and of course crime makes people act unnaturally.

6:07:03 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Western Cape premier Helen Zille:

Its a catch 22 situation. Guns are not conducive to a peaceful society but people feel the need to protect themselves.

6:05:31 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Returning to what parliamentarians said about the shooting at Oscar Pistorius’ house…

6:01:53 pm - Thu 14 Feb

The red carpet has been cleared and journos and dignitaries pushed behind the roped barriers in anticipation of the arrival of President Jacob Zuma.

5:54:10 pm - Thu 14 Feb

The shooting involving Oscar Pistorius has been a central theme for comment by parliamentarians arriving for the state of the nation address.

5:36:51 pm - Thu 14 Feb

More dignitaries are trickling down the red carpet. So far to have arrived:

Mosiuoa Lekota of Cope

Mmusi Maimane of DA

Pieter Mulder of FF+

5:25:15 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Western Cape premiere Helen Zille has Rrived wearing a flowing blue frock with blue ostrich feather detail on her handbag.

5:22:56 pm - Thu 14 Feb

SAPS commisioner Riah Phiyega has just arrived in full police garb. No bullet proof vests, but a blue skirt and top hat.

4:58:51 pm - Thu 14 Feb

Greetings and welcome to the Mail & Guardian’s live blog of the 2013 state of the nation address.

I’m Nickolaus Bauer – live from the red carpet outside parliament where dignitaries have slowly started arriving.

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