SONA will be secure – NATJOINTS

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When President Cyril Ramaphosa takes up position behind the podium in the Cape Town City Hall tonight (Thursday, 9 February) he will know South Africa’s defence and security apparatus has done all possible to ensure the 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA) goes off without any glitches or hitches.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) comprising government departments including the SA Police Service (SAPS), SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and State Security Agency (SSA), has put measures in place to ensure SONA takes place in a safe and secure environment according to a government statement.

Integrated joint law enforcement operations are and were conducted with and law enforcement officers deployed on high alert to ensure SONA takes place in a secure environment, with no incidents of crime before, during and post the Presidential address.

The statement notes NATJOINTS will deal with any actions aimed at disrupting SONA or intentionally contravening the law “within the ambit of the law”.

The senior defence and security organ further directed all law enforcement agencies securing the SONA to execute duties according to Constitutional mandates “within relevant prescripts.

On security in the skies, a notice to all airmen (NOTAM) issued by the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) restricts the airspace within 1.5 nautical miles of Cape Town City Hall today (9 February) from 13h00 to 00h00. Only the SA Air Force (SAAF) will have flexible use of airspace during this time. NATJOINTS asks unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots and operators to note airspace restrictions apply to them as well. The same airspace restrictions will be in place for the Parliamentary debate and Presidential reply to SONA from 14 to 16 February and for the 22 February budget speech.