Jacob Zuma delivers his state of the nation address in Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS
Jacob Zuma delivers his state of the nation address in Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS

President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address will be debated in Parliament this week, despite the majority of opposition parties having left the chamber before he delivered his speech.

Zuma’s address was delayed by more than an hour last week as opposition parties hurled insults at him, calling him "rotten to the core" and a "constitutional delinquent" who had broken his oath of office.

Parliamentary members of the EFF were violently removed from the National Assembly by Parliament’s protection services.

The DA and members of the Congress of the People walked out. The DA and its leader, Mmusi Maimane, were hit by a barrage of insults from ANC MPs as they left the House.

In his speech, Zuma outlined what he called "a new chapter in radical economic transformation", which included a range of policies from land to black economic empowerment and the setting aside of a portion of government procurement for black and small business.

Political parties will now have to face one another again on Tuesday and Wednesday to debate these matters. It is not clear if the EFF will attend the debate. in 2016 the party, which was also removed from the House after trying to disrupt Zuma’s state of the nation speech, did not attend the debate.

At the time its leader, Julius Malema, said the EFF would not debate a state of the nation address delivered by an "illegitimate" president.

Last week, the EFF continued to refer to Zuma as an "illegitimate" president.

Zuma will have an opportunity to respond to the parliamentary debate about his address on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank will brief Parliament’s social development committee on its role and readiness to implement the South African Social Security Agency’s social grant payment system.

The Department of Social Development and its minister, Bathabile Dlamini, have recently come under fire
for failing to institute a dependable social grant payment system by the April 1 deadline given by the Constitutional Court.

Also on Wednesday, the Treasury will brief Parliament’s select committee on finance about the draft regulations relating to the demarcation between health insurance and medical schemes.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will deliver her state of the province address in Cape Town on Friday.

Patricia De Lille resigned in January as DA leader in the Western Cape and has been replaced by Bonginkosi Madikizela. This followed a fight with party heavyweights, including Zille, in which De Lille was forced to back down on a key appointment to her mayoral committee.

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