Safety at Sport and Recreational Events Bill [B7-2009]: Departmental Briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

10 August 2009
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) briefed the Portfolio Committee on the Safety at Sport and Recreational Events Bill, B7-2009 (the Bill). The Director General discussed the legislative drafting process, the intent of the Bill, the streamlining of the Bill by the State Law Advisors, and the ultimate goal of the Bill to promote and protect the safety of spectators and participants, their property, and their rights at sports and recreational events at stadiums and other venues in South Africa. The SRSA Legal Team and the Director for Legal Services in the South African Police Service (SAPS) provided an overview of the legislative aspects of the Bill. Key topics for discussion by Members included the legal terminology, the inclusion and exclusion of recreational events, previous event disasters, risk profiling, safety certification, offenses, controlling bodies, public liability insurance, the Appeal Board, Event Safety and Security Planning Committee (ESSPC), FIFA Special Measures Act and penalties. Members asked that the legal drafters look again at some of the definitions, recommended that the Appeal Board should be increased in size, and that Parliament should play a role in the appointment of Members, that the legal advisers on the Board should be required to have two, not five, years experience, and that certain other aspects that were included in the draft Bill, but not carried forward into this version, should be investigated further. The legal drafters indicated that they were concerned about the exclusion of water sports, that they had taken into account the spread of the Bill across different events, and that they would report back to the Committee on some of the points raised. The Committee would be hearing public comment on the Bill over the next day.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson said that the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) would be briefing the Committee on the intention and aspects of the Safety at Sport and Recreational Events Bill, and also expressed a wish for discussion on events organised by the provinces, which was not included in the Bill.

He mentioned that Advocate Anthea Godden had been assigned to be with the Committee, and that Judge Ngoepe had also been invited to present to the Committee on issues around stadium safety, but neither was present at this meeting.

Safety at Sport and Recreational Events Bill (the Bill), B7-2009: Briefing by Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA)
Mr Vernon Petersen, Director General, SRSA, acknowledged Women's Day and the importance of women in sport before commencing with his presentation. He recalled the Ngoepe Commission of Inquiry, which stemmed from the Ellis Park disaster in 2001, and the extensive consultation process of the Bill thereafter. Although the Bill had been edited and refined by the State Law Advisors, he suggested that there would be further challenges and refinements necessary as a result of the editing process itself, and the functions of the Minister of Sport and Recreation during the event risk categorisation processes, both from an administration and cost perspective.

Essentially the Department was concerned about the capacity requirements anticipated, as a result of Event Safety and Policing, in the Office of the Minister. The Department was also concerned about the exclusion of water sports such as Formula One power-boat racing as a racing event.

Mr Petersen explained that the Bill dealt with matters which were not regulated by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Special Measures Act, 2006. Since this Special Measures Act would cease to exist after the World Cup, the Bill needed to be in place at the time when the World Cup ended. The Bill was also an opportunity to secure safety gaps which were not in place for the 2010 World Cup, although this was not critical prior to the World Cup. These safety gaps included protection against unauthorised match ticket touting, key safety (as opposed to security measures), and the establishment of formal safety and security operational planning structures and functions. Mr Petersen said the Bill had the support of FIFA, the South African Police Service (SAPS), national, provincial and local government emergency services and disaster management departments countrywide.

Mr Petersen noted that currently there was no consistent application of safety and security protocols at the thousands of events hosted in South Africa. In essence this Bill sought to regulate responsibility, risk profiling, and establishment of an annual schedule of events. It would deal with safety certification and grading of venues, integrated and timeous event safety and security planning, co-operation and co-ordination between all stake-holders, would set the minimum safety and security measures and standards at public events, and deal with event ticketing control. The Bill created offences for failure to meet its requirements.
Controlling bodies, event organisers and venue owners would be compelled to have proper safety and security measures in terms of the Bill. Phasing-in provisions allowed these bodies time to adjust to the financial impact associated with the limiting cost and profit implications of the Bill.
The underlying thrust of the Bill was to introduce consolidated legislation to ensure constant safety and security of the public. It also sought to ensure that the significant investment in sporting event infrastructure was balanced by future hosting of major sporting and recreational events.

The Bill revealed a joint administrative requirement from the Minister of Sport and Recreation, and the Minister of Safety and Security. The primary role players referred to in the Bill were therefore the Minister of Sport and Recreation, the Minister of Police, the National Commissioner of the SAPS and his/her authoritative member, Event Safety and Security Planning Committees and Local Authorities

Discussion
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked what the penalty was for lack of compliance with the Bill.

Mr T Lee (DA) was also curious about the penalty for offenders and asked if the Bill would cover the safety of citizens and athletes in the case of a terror attack such as at the Munich Olympics.

Mr Petersen said that the penalty clause required a detailed discussion and that the legal team would address these questions. In respect of the safety issue, he said that the Bill provided for that kind of security threat.

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) asked if the reference to Formula One power boat-racing related to the spectator risks as well as the drivers, and if Safety Certification would also apply to schools and clubs. He also asked for clarity on the time periods for the phasing-in process at the national or federation and provincial levels.

Mr Petersen reiterated that the Department was concerned about exclusion of water sports and said that the Committee would need to re look at this exclusion.

Mr Gideon Boshoff, Senior Legal Advisor and Project Manager, SRSA, answered that the Cabinet had endorsed recommendations made by the then-Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr D Du Toit, and was persuaded to exclude water sport from the Bill. The motivations were not clear to the Department. Mr Boshoff strongly recommended, for the sake of consistency, that the Committee should consider not adhering to the exclusion, as in its present form the Bill did have loopholes for water-sport accidents which may take place.

The Chairperson asked what the rationale was for excluding this dangerous sport. He wondered if water boat sport fell into the category of recreation, and suggested that for the sake of consistency, Members should discuss and answer to that issue.

Mr Petersen said that the Department would engage further as to why it was necessary to exclude water sports, as there may be issues such as safety certification of schools and clubs which may be considered as a burden.

The Chairperson asked Mr Petersen if he thought it was critical to impose this argument of burden against the price of life. In his opinion, dangerous sports and the consequences were not too cumbersome a burden in sport.

Mr Petersen supported the Chairperson's approach and said that the Department had expected such arguments, and further wished to address the value and price of life.

Mr Dikgacwi asked how the government decided on selection of the local and provincial event organisers.

Mr L Suka (ANC) asked for the relationship status between SAPS, private and other security entities and suggested that regulation of those establishments should be instilled.

Mr Petersen said that this would be covered in a later presentation.
The Chairperson asked if the government introduced the Bill precisely for inclusion of safety measures at sport and recreational events.

Mr Petersen said that that was the point of departure, but that they could not legislate only for a particular sector. There were many activities such as gospel concerts held at the stadium, which were not Sport or Recreation activities, but because they were at a stadium, all the rules and regulations of security measures applied. This Bill would not legislate for provisions which were already in other safety and security legislation. When it came to the broader meaning of the Bill they would not be excluded.

The Chairperson asked if the main reason for the Bill was the finding of the Judge Ngoepe Commission, or the consistent occurrence of disasters at events.

Mr Petersen said that over the years, event organisers had failed in self regulation and security measures, but the presentation would cover the origin of the Bill and allow for debate on those issues.

The Chairperson said that Members of Parliament would ask how the Bill would enhance lives for all South Africans. He asked if the Bill was designed to make people safe at events because of frequent occurrence of disasters, or if it was a means to close a safety valve.

Mr Boshoff said that the Bill answered to both. It sought to translate the findings and recommendations by Judge Ngoepe with regard to the Ellis Park disaster into legislation. The off-spin was that once legislation was in place, the general public who attended, for instance, a Premier Soccer League (PSL) game, would need to be protected. He said that the Bill protected 'poor' people from unscrupulous event organisers who did not take out public liability insurance.
The Chairperson said that this understanding was important. The government had been covering the cost of safety and security of ordinary citizens, while the event organisers had profited to the tune of millions of rand.

Mr Boshoff enquired, for the sake of clarity, if there were any Members of the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security in attendance at the present meeting.

The Chairperson said that the Chair of that Committee was supposed to have attended, but instead had attended a workshop. This Committee should also have attended a workshop, but the importance of the Bill had taken precedence.

Legislative Overview of the Bill
Mr Boshoff presented the overview of the Bill, with the objective of providing insight into the reasoning underpinning the draft Bill and the proposed legislative criteria relative to safety and security planning on one hand, and delivery at events of sport and recreation on the other hand. He wanted to provide a high level synopsis of the Bill so that the Committee could, at a later stage, be able properly to interrogate the key safety and security risk management concepts which underpinned the Bill's protection of the general public. A few novel safety and security related concepts tailored specifically to South African conditions would be introduced.

Mr Boshoff said that owing to the large number of recent disasters, there was now a tendency worldwide for operators to revise their safety and security risk assessment, operational plans, consequences, and management plans.

The factors leading to Parliament considering legislation by way of this Bill were based on some previous disasters. In January 1991 there had been soccer crowd violence at the Oppenheimer Stadium, when 42 citizens died on site, 180 citizens were injured, and 8 citizens died later in hospital. In April 2001, there was a stadium disaster at the Ellis Park Soccer Stadium, where 43 citizens died unnecessarily . A Commission of Enquiry, headed by Judge Ngoepe, was appointed after the Ellis Park disaster and his recommendations were being taken into account.

Another reason for legislation was that South Africa was increasingly becoming a desirable destination for major international sport, recreational, social, economic and political events, and it was Government policy to support and attract the hosting of such events. The Bill would lend legislative support firstly, if promulgated prior to the 2010 World Cup, to the FIFA safety and security contractual requirements, as per the 2010 organisation Association Agreement, and secondly to the host city agreements and the stadium use connected to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Finally, it was the wish of Government to create an omnibus piece of legislation (as already referred to by Mr Petersen), which could be a single reference point from which regulations stemmed, for easy use by relevant event stake holders and attorneys. It consolidated and integrated domestic event safety and security with specific cross references to related existing safety legislation.

He said that this legislation needed to promulgated urgently. Although it was not aimed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but rather at concerts and the like at stadiums and other venues, FIFA would nonetheless use this Bill to ensure that ticket sales were legal.

The legislation had adopted a reasonable middle-of-the-road approach, which incorporated the necessary Constitutional safeguards. The draft had been streamlined to promote ease of administration.

Current challenges faced by the SAPS, emergency and essential services, and other relevant safety and security stakeholders in respect of the local hosting of events included resource challenges arising from the hosting of multiple events during the same period, challenges around public liability insurance, the current inconsistent application of safety and security measures for different events whose risk profile was similar, and the failure of event organisers to provide adequate security. Often, the safety and security planning for events was left too late, there was a failure to consistently apply risk profiling criteria to events, there was under budgeting by event organisers for public safety and security, with 90% typically going to profit and only 10% used for safety and security. Unregistered or inexperienced, and untrained persons were used to provide a security service  and there was lack of uniformity around the safety certification for stadiums or venues, leading to insufficient safety and security resourcing. Sometimes a “silo approach” to planning was used, instead of being geared properly to the event. There were reactive, instead of proactive, safety and security measures and no punitive measures in place to ensure that there was safety and security.

Mr Boshoff stressed that self regulation by controlling bodies, event organisers and stadium/venue owners had not worked. This was detailed in the section titled “Ongoing challenges” in the legislative overview.

He also listed the pre 1998 international disasters, tabling a schedule. He confirmed that the Bill would cover terrorist threat. He outlined the key generic aspects of the Bill as they pertained to high risk events, referring again to the section on the Ngoepe Commission of Enquiry. He noted that the clauses in relation to search and seizure were taken from the FIFA 2010 legislation, and would be useful after the 2010 legislation expired.

Discussion
The Chairperson commented that according to the South African Police Service Act, the marshals could not search and seize, and that this had been touched on well in the Special Measures Bill. He also commented that the phrase 'restricted item policies' was not clear and suggested that the words 'items' and 'policies' should not be used together with the word 'restricted'.

Mr Boshoff said that the point on restricted items was noted.

Mr Bertus Van der Walt, Director for Legal Services, SAPS, said that when the Bill was drafted, it took in consideration the Committee’s stance on the 2010 Special Measures Bill where, with regard to search and seizure, only police officers were included.

The Chairperson referred to a church massacre which was not sport nor recreation related, but which was an event in terms of organisation and stated that it would fall under an organised event.

Mr Lee said that the schedule of recorded sporting disasters showed that more people were killed at religious events than sporting events.

Mr Boshoff said the definition of an event was 'sporting, entertainment, recreational or similar activities hosted at a stadium, venue or along a route or within their respective precincts'. The Bill therefore would also cover religious gatherings, even though the word ‘religion’ did not fall under the definition of an event.

Mr J McGulwa (ID) asked if the legislation included political rallies.

Mr Van der Walt said that whether large or small, a rally would be covered by this legislation. The Regulation of Gatherings Act made provision for 15 people at an event.

Mr Boshoff said that for the sake of consistency and parallel legislation of sport and recreation, the National Department of Sport and Recreation and the Sports Confederation should be excluded from the Controlling Body. This would prevent the Department of Sport and Recreation from being on a par with the National Federation, which would be consistent with other legislation. This was the Department’s view on the matter, but he appreciated that it was up to the Committee to make a final decision on this issue.

The Chairperson said the mandate of the Sports Confederation (SASCOC) was not clear. In terms of its mandate, the Department gave SASCOC the mandate to prepare and stage high level national events. They were complete custodians of their events. In his view, SASCOC should not be excluded from the Controlling Body.

The Chairperson also asked why the legal team had taken a technical approach to definitions in the Bill. Since the Bill would be read by members of the public, he suggested that the definitions should be straightforward. Some definitions were clear, but others referred to Acts.

Mr Sisa Makabeni (State Law Advisor) said that definitions were meant to guide, not deal with, substantive issues.

Mr Boshoff said that the draft Bill had been in a more simplistic style before it had been adapted to conform to legislative drafting style.

The Chairperson said that the current legislative drafting style did not assist with understanding, and requested that the definitions in both this Bill and the Special Measures Act be explained in simplistic terms.

Mr Lee said that the way that something was done would not change the outcome. A change of words and cross references would certainly not make the wording any different in its effect.

Mr Suka said that a law should be understood by all people, rural or urban. Legislation tended to be constructed to favour urban people in their understanding. He agreed that the legal drafters should be constructing a Bill that was more easily understood.

Mr Makabeni said that the rules of government required legislation to be drafted for legal interpretation, so that it was certifiable according to the Constitution.

The Chairperson asked what the point of a definition was if words were not clearly defined. He referred to the Sport and Recreation Act, where additional notes were given for clarity on definition.

Mr Boshoff said that this related to dispute resolution, where the Minister could intervene if a dispute was connected in connotation with any act of discrimination, as envisaged under Section 9 of the Constitution. 'Definition' was meant to define the finer points of what was being said. The point was, however, taken.

The Chairperson said that the Members would debate this matter further.

Mr P Roman, Technical Consultant, SRSA, said that the original approach was to give fairly detailed definitions, as the drafters understood that this Bill was going to be read by event organisers all over the country. State Law Advisors had however said that the Bill must be put in this “trimmed-down” form to be consistent with the rules of drafting and legal certainty. He agreed with the views of the Committee and had advised the SRSA of this. It was decided that the definition of 'event safety and security planning committee' would be revisited.

The Chairperson said that the marshals and stewards were separate in their work, as laid out by Dr Danny Jordaan of the FIFA Local Organising Committee, during a previous meeting. When referring to these two entities, the Bill had to be consistent and conform to what was accepted both locally and internationally.

Mr Boshoff said that according to the Bill, a volunteer may not assist with security services.

The Chairperson asked if an event organiser would be given a penalty at a later stage if it did not comply with the clauses relating to prohibition of ticket sales on a match day.

Mr Boshoff said that no event organisers would be able to sell tickets on the match day, unless they had permission. That would be granted in terms of the categorisation of the event. If it was a high risk event, the safety and security committee would decide if it was necessary to convey ticket information to the public. Black market tickets created a safety risk, because if people knew that there were tickets available outside the stadium, for example, they would congregate there, and this posed a safety risk. The second sub clause on ticket sales in the Bill stated that people could not sell tickets without permission. If tickets were found to be fraudulent, this would be dealt with by the police in terms of the normal laws.

Mr Lee asked how tickets for events would be denied if organisers were too late to submit applications, as in unscheduled events.
Mr Van der Walt said that the Bill provided for that, and stated that the event organiser had to submit the schedule upon initiating plans for the event. There was provision for short notice events or late applications.

The Chairperson asked if spontaneous unplanned events could be treated on their own merit in order to create an avenue for emergency purposes.

Mr Boshoff said that the Department would revisit and accommodate for situations such as this.

Mr Lee asked if the Bill was to be implemented and expedited because of the World Cup. He believed it was vague as far as religious and political gatherings and water sports were concerned. He asked why, after such a long time, the Bill would now be implemented. In addition, looking at the strict measures for service providers, the Bill was doing injustice to the historically disadvantaged service providers.

Mr Boshoff said that the Bill stemmed from the Ellis Park disaster, when Judge Ngoepe recommended that safety and security issues needed to be addressed in legislation. It did serve a purpose at grass roots level, as the main purpose of the Bill was to protect the people at gatherings, whether religious or other gatherings. He reiterated that at the moment the SRSA estimated that 10% of the total income from an event was in fact used in its organisation, including safety, and the remaining 90% was pocketed for profit or expenditure purposes. In order to create a balance, the Bill addressed those issues. Mr Boshoff made it clear that the Bill had not been catered for the purpose of 2010 and that it stood on its own.

The Chairperson concluded that the Bill was drafted to curb the pattern of casualties which occurred at these types of events. It was a very large Bill, which had been scrutinized over the years. Department researchers had analysed the unfortunate events that had occurred nationally and internationally, and the Bill had developed. To this end, there was no link to 2010.

Mr Boshoff said that the issue of water sports had been addressed. When presenting on the categorisation of sports and recreational events, he argued that the Minister of Sport and Recreation did not have the technical knowledge, and should not have the task of deciding on risk categorisation, but that this should rather be the mandate for the Minister of Police. He wished to make the Committee aware of this issue.

The Chairperson asked for the Parliament report on bribery on the conference of SASCOC. The committee believed that there was corruption at the conference and was anxious to receive the report.

The Chairperson asked for more information on the phasing-in period for existing stadiums or venues.

Mr Roman explained that the phasing-in period related to infrastructure, and provided stakeholders time to upgrade facilities in line with basic technical and safety requirements. With regard to the operational aspects relating to a big derby match for instance, the measures become immediately applicable.

Mr Z Luyenge (ANC) asked who would ensure the standards where local authorities owned the stadiums and issued their own safety certificate.

Mr Boshoff said that stadium or venue owners had three months after commencement of the Bill to apply for a safety certificate. He believed that the draft allowed for compliance with requirements in reasonable time. In the case of a high-risk event, the organisers were given two years to comply, three years in the case of a medium risk categorisation, and five years in the case of a low risk categorisation. After this time had expired, if no certificate had been applied for, then the stadium would be regarded as out of order according to the law.
 
Mr Lee asked if the owner of the stadium was the local authority, would this authority then be allowed to issue a safety certificate for its own property.

Mr Van der Walt said that if a local authority did issue its own safety certificate it would be based on the National Building Regulation Act, which set objective standards for buildings. The local authority would have to comply with all the objective regulations of that Act.

Mr McGluwa asked if a certificate could be granted without the approval of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) or a relevant code.

Mr Boshoff said that the Bill stated that the new stadiums would not be approved unless they complied with provisions in the Bill. He proposed that the stadiums be approved and interrogated by an independent SABS accredited engineer.

The Chairperson asked what would happen if there was obstruction to the inspection.

Mr Boshoff said that it would be an offense if there was obstruction during inspection. The offence and penalty section of the Bill dealt with this particular issue.

The Chairperson asked what event would qualify as a private event.

Mr Boshoff said that, for instance, a large funeral or wedding would qualify as such an event.

Mr Petersen commented that exclusion of certain private events would protect the Minister.

Mr MacKenzie said that his concern was about civil liberties, as there might be intrusion by the stake holders on a private event.

The Chairperson said that if events were excluded, and yet there were violence and deaths, an incorrect judgment by the Minister would have serious consequences. He believed that the responsibility should be shifted to a person who would have a better understanding of the kind of event held.

Mr Lee said that although he would want to encourage a free and civil society without imposition of State rule, he would not want lives to be lost.

The Chairperson said that the issue was not new, and given that permission must be sought, the police would quickly calculate risk and act responsibly. The responsibility should not be on the Minister.

Mr Boshoff said there was a limitation of liability clause, which stated that the Minister would not be held liable provided that there had been a bona fide decision made in this regard.

The Chairperson said that this clause should apply to private events and that this kind of provision would create a soft landing for miscalculation of any kind by the Minister.

Mr Boshoff added that consultation with the National Commissioner would assist the Minister in making a decision.

Mr McGluwa asked Mr Boshoff for his personal opinion whether this Bill was user friendly, whether it spoke to transformation, and if it was in line with the Constitution.

Mr Boshoff said that the Bill did conform to the Constitution of South Africa. It had been given the go-ahead after a long process of certification. His personal view was that it was indeed practical because it referred to and addressed Judge Ngoepe's findings and recommendations, and failure to conform to the legislation would be considered an offence.

Mr McGluwa asked who the drafters of the Bill were.

Mr Boshoff said it was drafted by himself, Mr Makabeni, Mr Van der Walt and Mr Roman. Mr Roman had technical expertise that was necessary for drafting of the Bill.

Mr MacKenzie noted there was a lot of pressure on low risk events, where lives were not endangered and measures would not be required.

Mr Boshoff said that in terms of risk categorisation, the Bill would allow for a distinction between low risk events, which required minimum provisions, and the more problematic school rugby matches and PSL matches, for example, which were categorised as medium risk events.

The Chairperson said that it would not be correct either in terms of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights if legislation did not apply equally across the different risk events.

Mr Roman said that the drafting team had considered this, and had built in safeguards so that there were no over-reaching provisions in respect of low risk events. He referred, by way of example, to the provisions in Clause 18, with regard to the Venue Operation Centre (VOC), noting that this made it clear that the VOC Commander, who would be a SAPS official, would exercise discretion on the event requirements.

Mr Lee asked if the provincial MEC would have an effective role to play in terms of the legislation.

Mr Boshoff said that the legislation was a national piece of legislation, which sought to maintain essential standards nationally, but nothing debarred a MEC from creating a similar type of legislation within his or her own provincial jurisdiction.

The Chairperson asked what process of clearance would be required for private and other security types.

Mr Van der Walt said that in most cases private security personnel performed preventive type of work within the stadium, at the barriers and at ticketing points. Additional police were present for crowd management and intelligence matters. There were also police outside, for crime prevention and traffic control. Their controllers were also required to sit on the ESSPC.

The Chairperson said that at the FIFA World Cup there was a bias to using private security and it was expected that there would be an 80% chance of using private security coupled with the police services.

Mr Boshoff said that unregistered and unscreened security personnel would not be allowed in terms of the Bill.

Mr Lee asked how legislation would ensure that access of previous offenders would be denied.

Mr Van der Walt said that use would be made of intelligence operations, depending on the type of risk posed.

Mr Roman said that surveillance technology would be used to identify persons who had an exclusion rating, and, in the future, face technology software would be brought into surveillance technology, so that these persons would be identified even before they tried to enter a stadium.

The Chairperson asked why there was tighter alcohol control at football stadiums than at rugby stadiums, and described the typical public scenario at rugby games.

Mr Roman said that it would be difficult to evacuate a stadium of intoxicated rugby supporters.

The Chairperson agreed that alcohol at stadiums posed great risk and should be evaluated.

Mr Dikgacwi asked how the Appeal Board would be constituted and who would be responsible for its constitution.

Mr Boshoff said that at least five members would be appointed for two years by the Minister of Sport and Recreation, after being nominated by the National Commission. Two of the members would be trained in safety and security, and at least one of the five members would have a legal background.

Mr Suka asked if the Board included people from disadvantaged communities.

Mr Dikgacwi asked what the role of the Committee was in the appointment of members. He was concerned about the role and oversight of the Committee over the Minister. He asked where the Committee would intervene should the Minister not be in a position to deal with the Appeal Board. He also expressed fear as to the consequences of a situation where the owner of a club would also be on the Appeal Board.

The Chairperson said that in the event that the Appeal Board might not be functional, the Committee would request an amendment. Secondly, the Appeal Board would have to brief Parliament on the nature of the appeals it was handling for the Committee. Thirdly, he believed the time requirement of legal experience for the candidate should be reduced from five to two years.

Mr Boshoff agreed that the experience of the lawyer should be two years and not five years, and said this would be amended.

The Chairperson said that the Minister who appointed the Appeal Board should have the responsibility of dissolving the Board should it be dysfunctional. Furthermore, he felt that the quorum on the Appeal Board was too low, at only 2 of the 5 members, and that such few members should not be allowed to take a decision. The issue of the quorum had not been clarified in the Bill.

Mr Boshoff said that previously the draft Bill did account for that and this aspect would be addressed.

Mr Suka asked if terms of office could be renewed.

The Chairperson replied that members could indeed be re-nominated.

Mr Boshoff said that the Minister could indeed dissolve a board and that the Event Planning Committee should be involved with the Appeal Board.

Mr Makabeni said that on establishment of the Board, a new system needed to be in place. In creation of the Board, the nominated members would need to appear before the Committee and state clearly their position for appointment on the Board. Thereafter the Minister could receive the Committee’s recommendation for approval.

Mr Dikgacwi said that the new system needed to be created immediately.

The Chairperson suggested that the Committee should participate on the Appeal Board. He proposed that seven members be appointed and that four should be appointed through the Portfolio Committee and three by the Minister. The Minister should have the right to appoint a Chair to that Committee. Clauses that enabled amendments and dissolution of the Board needed to be created. The Minister would then have the power to create an interim board.

Mr MacKenzie asked if the public liability insurance would be approved by a reputable company which was acceptable.

Mr Roman confirmed that this would be the case.

The Chairperson said that there was inconsistency in the provisions relating to the penalties, since the imprisonment term was stated but the fine amount was not.

Mr Makabeni said that the fine was a rand amount determined by the Minister from time to time. The Minister of Justice would publish notices from time to time that correlated a fine of a certain amount to the respective years of imprisonment.

Mr Van der Walt said that the Appropriation of Fines Act provided for the Minister to set fines to keep pace with inflation, and in terms of this Act, could set a fine that would be correlate to 10 years imprisonment.

Mr Suka questioned the number of ten years as opposed to, for instance, five years imprisonment.

Mr Van der Walt replied that this term expressed that Parliament was taking the matter seriously. He noted that the period of imprisonment could also be imposed at one year.

The Chairperson suggested that in a case where there was no public liability insurance and 43 people died, the penalty should perhaps be ten years or more. He also suggested that the sentence imposed should perhaps equate to numbers of lives lost.

Mr Boshoff said that, depending on the serious of the offense, the penalty would accumulate.

The Chairperson said that there was no excuse for failure to arrange public liability insurance.
 
Mr MacKenzie said that his understanding was that public liability was the heart of the problem. He could not see how an event would take place without proof of public liability insurance.

The Chairperson said that there may be fictitious proof or faulty documentation, for example, which may cause problems.

The Chairperson noted that public submissions on the Bill would be heard the following day.

The meeting was adjourned.

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