It’s all systems go for President Jacob Zuma’s annual State of the Nation Address (SONA), which will be delivered during a joint session of both houses of Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Feb 9.

The Presidency said here Tuesday that preparations for the address were continuing in earnest within the government to ensure that the occasion is a success. As part of preparations on the side of the Executive, the President is expected to convene a Cabinet lekgotla (gathering) from Wednesday until Saturday in Pretoria to review the past year and discuss the priorities for the current year.

The Cabinet Lekgotla follows the lekgotla of the National Executive Committee of the governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), which sets the tone and direction for the Government Programme of Action each year, based on the party’s annual January 8 anniversary statement.

SONA 2017 takes place during the year in which one of the key architects of the free and democratic South Africa, Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo, would have turned 100 years old, had he lived,” a statement from the Presidency said.

In this regard, the deliberations in the Cabinet Lekgotla will be informed by the uplifting legacy of OR Tambo, based on building a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

Discussions are expected to reflect strongly on radical socio-economic transformation to uplift the poor and the working class and to move the country forward to prosperity and true reconciliation, which is what OR Tambo strove for.”

The theme of SONA 2017 is “The Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Unity in Action Together Moving South Africa Forward”. It will communicate the outcomes of the Lekgotla as well as celebrate the legacy and values of OR Tambo, and will promote unity in action by all South Africans towards prosperity and radical socio-economic transformation.

Given the continuing slow economic growth, the Presidency said the Lekgotla will also deliberate strongly on efforts to reignite economic growth, working with other social partners, taking forward the achievements of the past year in promoting unity in action in protecting the economy and advancing growth in a difficult economic environment.

The Cabinet Lekgotla will be attended by Ministers and Deputy Ministers, as well as Premiers of the provinces and representatives of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).