Re-opening of the events sector under the spotlight

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14 Sep 2020

The sports, arts and culture department is committed to working hand in hand with all stakeholder organisations in the events sector to minimise the impact of COVID-19.

The department emphasised this in a statement on a recent meeting with the South African Communication Industries Association (SACIA) to discuss conditions for the re-opening of the events sector under COVID-19 regulations.

The meeting discussed the Protocols developed by SACIA to enable staff in the technical and live-events industry to return to work safely and to ensure the safety of people attending events.

According to SACIA, the proposed Safety Protocols were also consulted with the health department and the employment and labour department.

The department pointed out that the meeting forms part of a series of engagements it has held with “various sector organisations within the Sport, Arts and Culture space in addressing relief of distress for the sector as well as its economic sustainability”.

The meeting focused on the technical and live-events sector specific challenges imposed by COVID-19 and the national lockdown and deliberated on the Directions published in Gazette 43667 on 28 August 2020 on opening sport, arts and culture activities and the creative economy.

Safety measures and protocols proposed by SACIA include the prohibition of the consumption of alcohol at events with over 300 participants, a safety plan for 1000 participants (drive-ins) and the use of technology such as electronic capacity monitoring systems to track how many participants are at events at any given time.

SACIA also proposed that the regulations on the number of participants at events, currently set at 50 people, take into consideration the size/area or total capacity of venues and not the current 50 participants’ restriction as this does not ensure that safety protocols of social distancing are respected.

In response, the department “expressed a need to rather use percentages than absolute numbers of the capacity density as a measure and committed to using the two weeks before the 15th September 2020 as the window of opportunity to engage and consult on the Plan”.

The department also wants the whole value chain involved in putting together a successful event covered in the Plan.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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