Preparations for the State of the Province Address (Sopa) are well underway, according to Deputy Speaker of the Free State Legislature, Sizwe Mbalo. This comes after the State of the Nation Address (Sona) took place last week where President Cyril Ramaphosa presented to the country.
“We are confident that that the stage will be set for the province to receive the State of the Province Address 2019 by the Honourable Premier. We will use passion we see in our president to ensure that the future works better for our people,” explained Mbalo.
The Deputy Speaker highlighted the importance of the event in relations between the Free State people and government. “The Sopa remains an important platform where the provincial government through the premier is able to bring our people closer to work with government,” elaborated Mbalo.
The event will take place on 19 February 2019 and be attended by various Free State MECs at the University of the Free State’s Vista Arena, in Bloemfontein. According to the Deputy Speaker, about 3000 people, including staff, will attend the Sopa, which includes traditional and church leaders, heads of departments and business stakeholders among others.
“This period is sensitive because it provides for critical assessment of the relationship between the state and the people. All the three arms of the state, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, are the entities established through a very rigorous public participation process and are provided for in the constitution,” stated Mbalo.
“The burden that lies on the shoulders of the electorate to use their power to vote and to safeguard our hard earned democracy is very immense,” he added. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele