The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) has slammed government’s “unacceptable and insensitive” closure of roads for the whole day in preparation for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hour-long State of the Nation Address (Sona).
According to the South African Police Service (Saps), many roads around Parliament and in the city had been closed from from 6am on Thursday.
There is a no-fly zone over the Parliament precinct and the areas surrounding it. No civilian aircraft or remotely piloted aircraft system (drones) are permitted in the restricted airspace.
All demonstrations are being catered for in designated areas only.
“The community of Cape Town is advised that there will be limited access in areas surrounding Parliament as there will be road closures and parking restrictions. Temporary fencing will be set up. Perpetrators will face criminal charges should they be caught tampering with the fencing or breaching it in any way,” said the Saps.
But the FF+ chief whip Corné Mulder says the ANC government is not worth all this trouble.
“Dozens of businesses affected by this are losing ŉ day’s revenue while the fatal effect of the Covid-19 restriction can already be seen in numerous vacant buildings in the city centre where businesses had to close their doors due to the restriction.
“The ANC government is not worth one business to suffer further, especially not with a State of the Nation Address where only 50 people are allowed due to pandemic health protocols,” it said.
While Ramaphosa usually arrives at Parliament building in a convoy shortly before his address and leaves in the same manner – along with important guests – for security reasons, the closure of roads is unnecessary on Thursday, says the party.
“The decision to close part of the city is without reason and shows that the ANC is totally out of touch with the reality and consequences of the constraint where thousands of businesses across the country are struggling to survive.
“The closure of the main routes between 6.15pm and 7pm, which severely affects traffic flow during rush hour, is to offer the president’s convoy an unobstructed ride to parliament,” said the party.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde