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By Jarryd Westerdale

Digital Journalist


21 guns and ceremonial salutes: Order of proceedings for SA’s Presidential Inauguration

The ceremony will be accompanied by musical arts and culture performances that promote South Africa's rich diversity.


President Cyril Ramaphosa will be inaugurated on 19 June with the graceful elegance of the Union Buildings at his back.

The amphitheatre of the 114-year-old monument will house the officials and visiting dignitaries, while the lush southern lawns will provide a viewing area for the public.  

An entertainment programme is scheduled to begin at 9 am, with formal proceedings pinned down for 11 am.

Order of proceedings

The inauguration will begin with an inter-faith prayer which precedes a recital of the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will then begin the swearing-in ritual which includes the Presidential Oath of Office. To put the proverbial seal on the matter, the President will sign the swearing-in certificate.

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President Ramaphosa will then have assumed his role as Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and he will duly salute the gathered military officials.

A guard of honour is then formed by the National Ceremonial Guard as the President makes his way to the podium.

“The National Ceremonial Guard is an honour guard battalion of the SANDF that is preserved for the Commander-in-Chief to perform Presidential and national ceremonial parades as per tasking,” confirmed The Presidency.

With all at the foot of the Union Buildings standing to attention, the South African Air Force will perform a salute fly over and the SANDF will fire a 21-gun salute.

The final show of military ceremonial pomp will be a flyover by the SANDF, in conjunction with South African Airways, before President Ramaphosa gives the first official address of his second term.

Sustaining democracy in society

The message behind the inauguration will be “30 years of Democracy, Partnership and Growth”.

“The theme for conveys the need for all South Africans and our partners to work together to sustain democracy, partnership and growth in our society,” stated The Presidency in the days prior.

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Providing the flavour of the inauguration will be a host of local artists in a production that will feature a combination of music genres and other cultural and artistic performances.

The heads of state to have arrived for the inauguration include Burundi’s Prime Minister, Gervais Ndirakobuca and Vice President of Cuba, Salvador Valdés Mesa.

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