TV reporters and producers ever assembled in Parliament.
The massive media interest is an indication that South African television expects, and wants to be ready, for any fireworks or dramatic developments that might take place.
Ironically, the large number of accredited TV media people present at parliament today will dwarf the public. This comes after the presidency announced earlier that there won't be tickets for members of the public who want to attend SONA2016 with no overflow viewing area at Tuynhuys "due to the depressed economic climate".
Our very own News24 Live team will also be bringing users full online coverage live from Parliament and our studio in Cape Town.
Here is what South African television is planning for SONA2016 today:
ANN7 (DStv 405)
ANN7 has 61 people accredited for this year's 2016 State of the Nation Address - almost double the number of rival eNCA, and the most of any TV outlet.
This year for the first time ANN7 will anchor the broadcast from Cape Town with new ANN7 Prime anchor Peter van Onselen and political reporter Clement Manyathela anchoring from Parliament.
Reporters covering the event include Kalden Ongmu, Chante Jantjies, Michael Appel, Karabo Yibe, Sinazo Cele, Kevin Brandt, Zinhle Mngadi, Nobuhle Nkhoma and assignment editor Cecilia Russel.who will bring viewers all the colour, action and reactions from the red carpet, parade, protests and the president's speech.
Analysts include political commentators Dennis Cruywagen, Pumeza Bam, Prof Sipho Seepe and Levy Ndou.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana will be among the ANN7 guests interviewed.
ANN7's continuous coverage of SONA 2016 started at 06:00 today and will continue until midnight.
eNCA (DStv 403) / e.tv
eNCA has 32 people accredited for this year's 2016 State of the Nation Address.
Rolling coverage will start at 16:00 today and will be anchored by Iman Rappetti at Parliament and Jeremy Maggs in the Johannesburg studio.
Iman Rappetti will be taking to analysts Mcebisi Ndletyana, Angelo Fick, Judith February and Abdul Waheed Patel. eNCA will also do crossings to reporter Thulasizwe Simelane for political reaction.
Other accredited eNCA reporters include Percivale Young, Dianne Hawker, Athi Nthongana, Leigh Anne Jansen, and Bonga Dlulane.
Reporters Lester Kiewit and Annika Larsen will be on the red carpet to see what members of Parliament and their partners are wearing.
eNCA says live coverage of SONA2016 will continue throughout the night, bringing viewers all the pomp and ceremony with Iman Rappetti who will welcome e.tv viewers at 18:58 for a simulcast broadcast on both channels.
At 19:00 eNCA and e.tv will carry the president's speech live.
The speech is expected to end at 20:28 when e.tv will drop coverage but eNCA will continue with its live broadcast until 21:00 with post-speech reactions from various political figures and analysts.
eNCA says it has camera positions at key points in and around the parliamentary precinct, ready to cover any developments that may occur during Thursday evening.
SABC2 / SABC News (DStv 404)
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kgangayo didn't respond to Channel24’s media request about the public broadcaster's SONA 2016 plans but coverage will be done on SABC2 and the SABC's SABC News channel on MultiChoice's DStv.
The SABC accredited 219 people for SONA2016 with Morning Live anchor Leanne Manas and contributing editor Vuyo Mvoko who will anchor live coverage from Parliament.
SABC2 will switch to the SABC News channel feed to carry the president's speech from 18:00 until 21:00, with all usual scheduled SABC2 Thursday evening programming cancelled.
CNBC Africa (DStv 410) provided no programming advisory but will likely broadcast the president's speech live and accredited reporters for Parliament. The Parliamentary Service (DStv 408) channel will broadcast the proceedings live as well.
Although they won't broadcast the president's speech live, international TV news channels will have reporters present who will file stories, ranging from Al Jazeera (DStv 406 / StarSat 257), to CCTV News (DStv 409 / StarSat 266), BBC World News (DStv 400 / StarSat 256) and Bloomberg Africa (DStv 411 / StarSat 264).