All set for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration: How the day will unfold

All set for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration: How the day will unfold

Government is all set for the presidential inauguration, which will take place on Wednesday, 19 June at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

This is after Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as the President of South Africa on Friday at the first sitting of the National Assembly of the seventh democratic administration, which was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

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Three hundred and thirty-nine ballot papers were issued and counted, with 12 invalid ballots.

Ramaphosa received 283 votes against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who received 44 votes from MPs.

Inauguration ‘an important feature’

Section 87 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa prescribes that the President of the Republic must be sworn in within five days after his or her election by the National Assembly. 

“Consequently, the provisions of Section 87 kick in and the President of South Africa must accordingly be inaugurated on Wednesday, 19 June 2024,” Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, announced at a briefing on Saturday. 

Ntshavheni described the Presidential inauguration as an important feature in a year in which South Africa is marking 30 Years of Freedom. 

“The inauguration will bring together South Africans from all backgrounds, walks of life and political orientations, united in our diversity. It offers us an occasion to celebrate our democratic values and system of governance, including the agreed commitment of our body politic that the seventh administration will be one led by a government of national unity.”

Preparations have been made

Ntshavheni said this year’s theme, ’30 Years of Democracy, Partnership and Growth’, brings together the country’s past and the road travelled since 1994 when Nelson Mandela took his oath at the Union Buildings as the first democratically elected President.

The ceremony will be held at the Union Buildings Amphitheatre and its South Lawns. 

According to the Minister, the Amphitheatre will host national and foreign dignitaries, including Heads of State and Government. 

Preparations have been made for South Africans to participate in the ceremony. 

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will perform the ceremonial elements of the inauguration, as they pledge their allegiance to both the Republic and the Commander-In-Chief. 

The ceremonial elements will include, amongst others, a 21-gun salute, a salute flight by the South African Air Force, inspection of a SANDF battalion, a battalion march past, and massed fly past. 

Deliver his inaugural address

Ntshavheni, the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) preparing for the inauguration, stated that the President-elect would be sworn in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and would take an oath or affirmation as outlined in Schedule 2 of the Constitution.

The newly sworn-in President will also deliver his inaugural address.

Attendees will also enjoy an array of music genres and other cultural and artistic performances that reflect the achievements of the past three decades. 

In terms of road closures, she said there will be no private vehicle access to the Union Buildings or the area immediately surrounding the venue. 

“Tshwane Metro Police will effect road closures in and around the Union Buildings precinct. Residents in streets affected by these closures will be alerted on how they will access various exits and entrances.” 

Ntshavheni said law enforcement is fully deployed to continue to ensure the safety and security of all South Africans and guests on the day and throughout the post-election phase of the country. 

The Minister encouraged South Africans to be part of this momentous occasion, and for those who cannot attend to follow proceedings on television and radio.

“Government, therefore, calls on South Africans to take a few hours out of their time to devote attention to this special occasion and especially to encourage children and young people to observe this event as part of building social cohesion and developing an appreciation for what makes us special as a nation.”

She told the media that the ceremony will commence with an entertainment programme at 09:00, while the formal proceedings are scheduled to commence at 11:00.