Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill [B7-2009]: Continuation of public hearings

Sports, Arts and Culture

23 August 2009
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC) Co-Chairperson: Ms L Chikunga (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Mr Komphela issued a statement condemning the way in which Caster Semenya had been treated and stated that the matter would be referred to the United Nation Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). The Chairperson and Members objected strongly not so much to the testing, but to the manner in which the International Association of Athletics Federations had acted, noting that it must change its attitudes to race and gender issues, and that it should apologise. The resignation of the Athletics South Africa representative in support of Ms Semenya was welcomed. Her family had traveled to Germany to support Ms Semenya, and she would be met and supported again at the airport upon her return. The Department and the Minister had shown a similarly proactive and supportive role in the case of Oscar Pistorius, and this was welcomed.

The Committee then continued to hear public submissions on the Safety at Sport and Recreational Events Bill (the Bill)

Disaster Management Institute of South Africa (DMISA) broadly supported the Bill, but raised some concerns. These included the need to include safety officials on the Appeal Board, and the need to clearly outline the decision-making process in the Event Safety and Security Planning Committee (ESSPC). It noted that disaster management was currently classified under emergency services, which was incorrect, as it was rather a single coordination point. The definition of essential services should also take into account non- government essential service providers, since some municipalities outsourced functions, and should include Eskom. Concerns were expressed whether there would be an overwhelming volume of applications, that there must also be  reference to other legislation, and the inclusion of municipal disaster management. The Committee agreed with the point about the appeal board, but felt that disaster management was adequately covered in the Bill, although they understood DMISA's concern.

Boxing South Africa (BSA) outlined its existing safety and security procedures at matches and venues, including the provision that hospitals and doctors be on stand by during all matches, both inside the venue and at the hospitals. BSA supported the Bill and would try to meet the provisions enshrined in it. The Committee asked about the standby procedures for medical personnel during fights, and commended BSA's initiative in taking out insurance policies for public liability and fighters, noting that other sports had not done so.

The National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) stated that limitation of smoking during public events was not anything new, and that since 1998 South Africa had been enforcing the Constitutional rights to clean air. The policies should be easy to implement, since the existing legislation was largely self-regulating, and people were used to the idea. NCAS reiterated the risks of tobacco smoke, stating that stadiums and other public areas needed to be fully smoke free zones. The Committee agreed with the NCAS and decided to incorporate its suggestions into the Bill. The Committee asked the NCAS about its efforts to educate people about the dangers of smoking.

South African Council of Churches (SACC) largely supported the Bill, and stressed that the culture of safety and security at public events should be inculcated firmly. There was a need to educate everyone about the Bill, particularly since it would cover religious and large community gatherings.A concern was raised about how disability was treated in the Bill. The Committee agreed that, although the drafters intended to deal with this by way of regulation, this gave insufficient weight to the issues, and asked the drafters to incorporate disability issues into the main body of the Bill.

The Soul City Institute (SCI) outlined the results of their studies into alcohol abuse and its related problems, including the risks of alcohol consumption at public events, as well as to the public at large. They motivated for stronger regulations concerning alcohol sale and consumption at events, including proper labeling on alcoholic drinks. The Committee and drafters agreed that valuable input had been made, noted that several of the issues had already been incorporated into the draft regulations and that SCI would be consulted when the final draft of the regulations was prepared.

Meeting report

World Athletics Championship and Caster Semenya issue
Co-chairperson Ms L Chikunga congratulated Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Caster Semenya on their performance at the World Athletics Championship in Berlin, and hailed them as heroes, stating that she was looking forward to their return to South Africa.

Co-Chairperson Mr B Komphela agreed that South Africans, and women in particular, saluted Caster Semenya for winning the gold model in Germany. However, he and the Committee abhorred the “disgusting” manner in which the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had treated Ms Semenya on the issue of gender testing. They disagreed with the IAAF decision to test her. He stated that he would like the United Nation Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) to receive their objections to the IAAF's conduct by the following day. A resolution would be taken to refer the matter to the UNHRC, as a gross human rights violation of privacy and dignity had been done to Ms Semenya. He added that the IAAF must apologise fro the despicable and irresponsible way in which they handled the issue, stating that Ms Semenya was just a child. Mr Komphela welcomed the resignation of the President of Athletics South Africa from the IAAF, in a gesture of solidarity with Ms Semenya. The old manner in which the IAAF dealt with race and gender needed to change, and the IAAF needed to explain how they would resolve this as well as apologise. The Committee was in complete support of Semenya and Athletics SA, and that was pursuing the matter. The media had further engaged in a trial by media on her gender.

Co-Chairperson Ms Chikunga agreed with Mr Komphela, and expressed her disgust at the way the Semenya matter was handled, which insulted Ms Semenya and women of South Africa. Basic procedures such as privacy and confidentiality should have been observed. She reiterated that an apology must be made to Ms Semenya and an acknowledgement that the IAAF had acted incorrectly.

Mr Suka was glad that the matter was being taken to the highest level of the UNHRC. He asked whether the Committee could visit her family and gather all the facts of the case. He also asked whether the Committee should speak to the President of ASA.

Mr Komphela replied that there was space for ASA to make a submission to the Committee, but perhaps there was not sufficient time on this issue. The Office of the Minister made it possible for her family to visit and give support to Ms Semenya in Germany. The Chief Whip of the ANC had also raised the matter, and she would be shown support by meeting her at the airport. He added that it was not the first time that the Department of Sport and Recreation had been pro-active, as they had similarly assisted Mr Oscar Pistorius. Athletes needed that support to prevent their abuse. He thanked the Minister for being proactive.

Discussion
Mr T Lee (DA) stated that he too was saddened by the way in which Caster Semenya was treated. He added that the point was not about the testing, but rather the manner in which the IAAF went about. He agreed that she deserved a hero’s welcome on her return.

Safety in Sport and Recreational Events Bill: Continuation of Public Hearings
Co-Chairperson Mr Komphela stated that the public hearings into the Safety in Sport and Recreational Events Bill (the Bill) would continue. This Bill sought to place responsibility on sports event organisers. He added that the Bill stemmed from the Ellis Park Soccer Disaster in 2001 and the Oppenheimer Stadium Orkney Soccer Disaster in 1991. Organisers of these events had pocketed their profits, but left those who had suffered without any recompense or assistance. Those who attended both events were amongst the poorest people, and could not even afford to bury their dead. The Government had had to assist, since the organisers of the events took no responsibility. He added that the vandalism at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, on 15 August 2009, resulted in the Western Cape Provincial Government having to foot the Bill for repairing the stadium whilst the Premier Soccer League (PSL) walked away. He noted that the Bill sought to enshrine responsibility, with mechanisms for safety considerations depending on risk profiling of events.

The Co-Chairperson stressed that the intention was not to place onerous duties on event organisers, but to ensure public safety. The Bill was attempting to define and place marshals, stewards and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in a specific legal framework with regard to events. It aimed at ensuring that public liability insurance would be taken out by event organizers. Government would not allow organisers to maximise profits while putting the public at risk.

Disaster Management Institute of South Africa (DMISA) Submission
Mr Greg Pillay, Head: Disaster Management, City of Cape Town, made the submission on behalf of DMISA (see attached document). He noted that under Chapter 1 of the Bill, Disaster Management (DM) was listed as an essential and emergency service. In fact, this was incorrect. DM was rather a single coordination point, and did not provide these essential or emergency services. The term emergency services should therefore not include DM or any other department which was not an emergency medical, fire or rescue service.

Mr Pillay added that the term “essential services” should take into account non-local government essential service providers, as certain municipalities outsourced functions. He added that Eskom, in some cases, supplied electricity directly, thus making it an essential service provider.

He expressed concern over whether the definitions of the terms “venue”, “stadium” and “event” would result in an unexpected volume of events schedules that the National Police Commissioner would have to consider. Mr Pillay stated that if this would not be the case, then there was no problem. He stated that the legislation referred to events with over 2 000 people, and therefore there should also be reference to legislation that dealt with smaller gatherings. Mr Pillay drew attention to Chapter 2, Clause 5, stating that should a high risk event become a disaster it would fall under the competency of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), so that  there should be provision for the inclusion of municipal disaster management in the entire process, since it was under municipal jurisdiction that this would fall.

He stated that currently the SAPS dominated the Appeal Board and that there needed to be a role for DM on the safety side.

Mr Pillay outlined other recommended amendments to the Bill that were contained in the submission document.

Discussion
Mr Lee said  that DMISA's presentation was thought provoking and that many of the matters mentioned should be included in the Bill and expanded upon. He asked for comment from the legal drafters.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked for clarity on whether DM was being treated as an emergency service and stated that a Municipality’s DM component would be informed about events, as most of them would be taking place at stadiums owned by municipalities.

Mr Pillay replied that the fact that DM was classified under essential services and emergency services was confusing, and that these references should be taken out, as DM had both proactive and reactive response elements. He suggested that these would be better encapsulated under a reference to the full definition of DM in the DMA.

Co-Chairperson Mr Komphela asked why the term “emergency services” should not include DM. The DMA assumed that emergency services would be part of any overarching response to disaster management. He believed that emergency services must form part of DM for a quick response to a crisis. He said that the Fire Department, although it did not provide emergency medical service, was needed in emergencies. He asked how DMISA proposed these services be separated, in light of the Joint Operations Centre being composed of Fire, SAPS and Medical Services.

Mr Komphela agreed with Mr Pillay that the term 'essential services' needed to include non-government essential service providers. He added that Eskom was referred to and was part of DM, as it was a direct service provider in some areas.

Mr Komphela then commented on Clause 8 of the submission document, and stated that this Bill did not say that a safety certificate would be issued before compliance was met. In regard to the submission on Clause 17 of the Bill, he understood the decision making process to be done by the committee in the Venue Operational Command (VOC), with all members of the team spelling out their particular concerns, according to their competencies, discussion the matter, and reaching conclusions. The SAPS took a leadership role as Chair of the VOC.

Mr Pillay reiterated that the Bill gave the impression that essential services fell only under the competency of local authorities, and said that the definition needed to take outsourcing into account.

Mr Komphela understood and agreed that outsourcing should be taken into account in the Bill.

Mr Gideon Boshoff, Legal Advisor, Department of Sport and Recreation, agreed with the Chairperson and Mr Pillay that this topic needed to be elaborated upon.

Mr Pillay continued that under Clause 17, there needed to be clarity, with words to the effect that decision-making would occur by consensus, as far as possible, with the Chairman being given veto powers. He added that under Clause 26, there was a slant towards the SAPS and that for good representation there needed to an inclusion of DM and Medical Services on the Appeal Board.

Mr Komphela agreed that Mr Pillay's point about the Appeal Board was valid and should be taken into account.

Mr Boshoff, with reference to Clause 17 of the Bill, replied that the regulations would spell out explicitly the decision making process. He added that the Event Safety and Security Planning Committee (ESSPC) needed to decide on the matter as a whole, but that the Chairperson would play a leading role. He added that there seemed to be concern that whenever an authorised individual took a decision, it would be final, even if the decision was arbitrarily taken. That was not so, as there was an appeal process. Mr Boshoff agreed that DM should be a part of the Appeal Board. He added that where the Bill referred to an admitted attorney or advocate, it could be amended to include a reference to a qualified, suitably experienced person elected by DM.

Co-Chairperson Ms Chikunga stated that since there was a definition of DM in the Bill, and a reference to the DMA, she did not see what the problem was.

Mr Pillay replied that the reference in the Bill to DM did not in fact spell out the full mandate of DM. He felt that the definition should include all that was in the comprehensive definition in the DMA.

Mr Komphela replied that Chapter 1, line 23, under the definitions on page four, did contain a reference to the DMA and so there was no need to restate what the DMA said.

Mr Pillay stated that DMISA wanted to avoid confusion. He did not think that the Bill should refer to the DMA, but rather include a full definition of DM , so that it would be clear.

Mr Lee stated that he had a problem with the definition of the term 'venue' and wanted to know whether the definition would cover the “venue” of the Comrades Marathon for example.

Mr Boshoff replied that venues would differ, so the Bill included the phrase 'along a route' to cover events such as the Comrades Marathon under the term 'event'.

Mr Siza Makabena, Senior State Law Advisor, Office of the Chief State Law Advisor, added that the term 'event' was defined to include a route, but that the term 'venue' defined structures that may form part of an 'event'. He added that Mr Lee's considerations were comprehensively covered by the Bill.

Mr L Suka (ANC) stated that he thought that if a particular municipality outsourced its essential services then they would be covered. He stated that these definitions were not exhaustive, but that he assumed it would be obvious that they would refer to municipal Acts and thus take care of the problem.

Mr Pillay replied that his submission was made in good faith, with the intention of reaching greater clarity on the issues.

Ms Chikunga asked for clarity that DM be excluded from essential services.

Mr Pillay reiterated that DM was not an essential service or an emergency service, but a focal point that organised co-ordination, whichhad access to the stated services. He stated that removing the reference to essential and emergency services in relation to DM would avoid confusion.

Mr Boshoff stated that the inputs from DMISA were useful and should be considered. The drafters had looked at the DMA, and taken its provisions into account, making specific cross-references to it in this Bill, and so he did not think that the Bill contravened the DMA in any way. The drafters had included DM under essential services and emergency services because they fell together in that particular cluster grouping. They should remain grouped together in the Bill as this aided in fulfilling the requirements of the legislation. Mr Boshoff felt that they were adequately defined by the current Bill and cross-referenced with the DMA.

Ms D Schafer (DA) stated that although there was provision for an appeal to the Appeal Board, no time limit was specified, thus rendering the efficacy of such an appeal pointless.

Mr Boshoff agreed that the Bill should explain the time limits for dealing with an appeal. The drafters had intended to include such mechanisms in the regulations, but would now incorporate them into the body of the Bill.

Mr Komphela asked that this be done. In regard to the ESSPC, the drafters were correct in relegating the finer points of how it would work to the regulations of the Bill.

Boxing South Africa (BSA) Submission
Mr Loyiso Mtya, Acting CEO, Boxing South Africa, stated that BSA was checking whether there were safety and security procedures that BSA needed to change, and to see whether it could make any input into the Bill. He was mindful that in the past people had been able to enter an event and start harming others. In order to prevent incidents like this from occurring, and to comply with the Bill, BSA now had SAPS and private security present at all events. He added that the BSA never had search and seize provisions in the past, but that he agreed with them now.

Mr Komphela asked if there was any document related to the presentation.

Ms Chikunga stated that BSA had received the invitation late.

Mr Mtya continued that BSA had instituted a policy of having two doctors present at the venue and that in the event that one would be busy there would always be a doctor present in the venue. BSA also made sure that there was a hospital on standby within a 14 kilometre radius, with a neurosurgeon on call. Mr Mtya stated that standards were in place in terms of ring structure in order to minimise falling, and that BSA worked hand in hand with municipal authorities to ensure there were adequate exit points in the venue. He added that organisers had to provide a compliance certificate and that when standards did not comply that the venue would not be used. Mr Mtya stated that BSA took out an insurance policy for losses of R5 million, at a cost of R68 000 per annum, that covered everyone in the venue, in addition to a separate policy for those in the ring. He acknowledged that the amount was not very large .Mr Mtya concluded that BSA would work on meeting the requirements of the Bill.

Discussion
Mr Dikgacwi asked how many doctors were supposed to be on standby at hospitals, noting that they often had to be called. He asked what assurances BSA had that the doctor would be at the hospital for the duration of the fight.

Mr Mtya replied that since in the past there had been deaths resulting from fights, BSA made sure that the hospitals used had stated in writing that a neurosurgeon would be on standby.

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) asked whether the insurance covered public liability for spectators, and what the coverage for boxers and referees was.

Mr Mtya replied that BSA’s insurance covered deaths and disability arising in the ring. The public liability insurance covered BSA for up to R5 million. He added that BSA was looking for funding to increase this figure.

Mr Suka asked whether BSA categorised high risk events, such as international fights, and what measures it put in place if this was so.

Mr Mtya replied that BSA did take into account different grades of security and safety for bigger events, and that at such events it ensured that security personnel and the SAPS were inside the ringside areas to give protection. He added that lately the doctors have been mandated to check the ambulances parked outside to ensure also that these had the necessary medical supplies and equipment.

Mr Komphela asked why Mr Mtya felt the insurance was low, stating that rugby, soccer and cricket did not have even this level of insurance.

Mr Mtya replied that an individual had commented during a meeting that it was low, citing rugby’s insurance cover as a comparison. In light of what the Chairman was now saying, the comparison seemed to be untrue.

Mr Komphela relied that the individual who had told Mr Mtya that rugby had insurance cover was wrong. Soccer also had no cover. He noted that BSA had built a house for the widow of a deceased boxer with the money from the insurance policy, and that this was commendable.

Mr Mtya replied that he did not challenge the statement about insurance at the time, as he was unaware that it was not true. He said that BSA they would be handing over the house to the deceased boxer's widow on 7 September.

National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) Submission
Mr Peter Ucko, Director, National Council Against Smoking, appreciated the fact that tobacco control was covered by the Bill. He tabled the submission (see attached presentation document). He stated that the NCAS was established in 1976, and undertook health education with law, health and psychology students. He was happy that the new tobacco control legislation was now in force.

Mr Ucko stated that prohibiting smoking at sports events was nothing new. He outlined the history of smoke free zoning, and added that it worked well and easily. There were international tends with regard to smoke free countries. South Africa needed to cater for its 2010 Soccer World Cup visitors. He added that sport and smoking were mutually incompatible and that studies have indicated that there was no safe level of smoke exposure. Mr Ucko cited Kings Park, Loftus Versveld and Wanderers stadiums as examples of smoke-free stadiums already in operation. He strongly stated that clean air was a right and that smoking was not, indicating that in 1998 South Africa had legislated for clean air, protecting people from tobacco smoke. Mr Ucko stated that the non-smoking provisions would be easy to enforce, and would eventually become the norm. The process was largely self regulatory on the part of individuals. He cited the fact that FIFA stated that smoking would not be tolerated near the pitch or stands under its “common sense” conduct. In terms of the effect on visitors, Mr Ucko stated that only 22% of adults in South Africa were smokers, and that according to the statistics, very few of South Africa's anticipated visitors for the World Cup were smokers.

Mr Ucko recommended that public spaces needed to be fully smoke free, that there should be universal protection of such smoke-free places by law and that there was a need to ensure proper implementation and adequate enforcement of the law. He requested that the Committee make use of the NCAS's expertise and volunteered to assist it in any way it deemed necessary.

Discussion
Mr MacKenzie stated that he enjoyed the presentation. He asked what rights a person had when sitting in a bar or restaurant, but being affected by smoke coming from the smoking area.

Mr Ucko replied that smoke drifted where a door was not closed, which was why there was a need for 100% smoke free zones. Even if there were designated smoking areas, the smoke from these areas would drift. Ventilation was not always effective. Mr Ucko stated that people could surely forego smoking for the duration of a sports game. If people needed to smoke they could go outside, but this may cause a passing-out security problem if people were constantly leaving and returning. He stated that the new Tobacco Products Control Act (TPCA) defined public spaces as any partially enclosed area.

Mr Komphela agreed with Mr Ucko that areas needed to be 100% smoke free and that the majority, who were non-smokers, needed to be catered for.

Mr Dikgacwi highlighted the high incidence of youths smoking, which was quite alarming, and asked whether the NCAS interacted with schools.

Mr Ucko replied that it was a big problem and that children were in fact the target market of the tobacco industry, which considered them as potential 'replacement' smokers. He added that the industry used “viral marketing” and even held parties where tobacco products were promoted, even if the age limit may be specified as eighteen. Bars and clubs were also being used by the industry to promote tobacco. He highlighted the efficacy of tobacco addiction in hooking and creating new users.

Mr Ucko responded that another problem with the youth was the prevalence of “okka pipes” or “water pipes” amongst certain communities in the Western Cape, saying that these were also dangerous as they used tobacco.

Mr Suka asked how far public education went. He asked whether there had been any international comparisons with Jamaica, and asked for the NCAS’s view on smoking marijuana.

Mr Ucko replied that NCAS had produced posters and worked in conjunction with the Department of Education (DoE) to educate children. These efforts were not enough and more needed to be done. He stated that there were laws that dealt with marijuana smoking. Although he was unsure of Jamaica's policy, the studies were clear on the harmful effects of any form of smoking.

Mr Komphela asked what made people comply with prohibitions on tobacco smoking. He had heard that police were being removed from the streets to guard people at the designated smoking venues at stadiums during the World Cup. Mr Komphela stated that the authorities at an event would and should call the police if necessary, and that the police did not need to be enforcing this. He asked what Mr Ucko envisaged as possible to make the prohibition against smoking effective in the Bill, whether he envisaged the marshals and stewards playing a warning role, or thought that the SAPS needed to do the enforcement. Mr Komphela also asked how Government could implement this, given the SAPS’s workload. His own personal experience in the Presidential Box at sports events showed him that even MPs disregarded rules and continued to smoke.

Mr Ucko thanked Mr Komphela for his very astute observations. He stated that the TPCA regulated that there should be no smoking within a certain distance of a doorway, and that this may need to be taken into account in the Bill. In regard to the observations about smoking in the private boxes, Mr Ucko noted that there was a mistaken belief that people were permitted to smoke in their private suite. However, the fact that the owners could invite people in made the box effectively open to the public, and the presence of staff in the box made it a workplace, therefore a public place. The new legislation would take care of this, and penalties for non-compliance would be increased.

Mr Ucko added that SAPS did not need to be present to enforce the legislation, but that the aim was to make compliance the norm, with the Bill setting the standard that would then be followed. He did not wish to make things unpleasant for smokers, but if they did not comply they should be placed under custody. Hopefully, this should only happen once before a smoker started respecting the law. Mr Ucko added that during sporting events the principle could be enforced, by announcements stating that the venue was smoke-free and by putting up signs. He reiterated that this was largely a self regulating principle. He added that this would be done once the regulations were in place. The Committee needed to set the standards.

Mr Komphela noted that NCAS had stated that sports and recreational events should be 100% smoke free and asked how this could be done.

Mr Ucko replied that the NCAS could help with the drafting of the clause, and he was sure that the State Legal Advisor could also assist. He suggested the use of words to the effect that all sporting and recreational events would be 100% smoke free and that there would not be any designated smoking areas.

Mr Boshoff stated that he supported Mr Ucko, and the drafters had already made provision in the draft regulations that personnel at all events must enforce the TPCA, and that there should be enforcement of 100% smoke-free zoning of all public areas in the stadium. This had incorporated the FIFA approach. However, having heard the presentation, he now felt that the drafters needed to re-examine the idea of having smoking areas behind the venue, as this might not suffice.

South African Council of Churches (SACC) Submission
Mr Keith Vermeulen, Director:Parliamentary Office, South African Council of Churches, stated that it was important to have concerns about and presence of safety and security personnel. The SACC supported the Bill and pledged its help to uphold a culture of safety.

Rev S Vava, representative of SACC, added that South Africa was a secular state, which must be respected. Although he was bringing a Christian perspective, he suggested that the Committee should invite representation from other faiths.

Mr Komphela replied that this was true, and that the Committee had not intended to exclude anyone, and would be sending invitations to other faith bodies. The Committee would start by hearing the SACC.

Rev Vava outlined the history and structure of the SACC. He endorsed the Bill, specifically objects that dealt with the protection and safety of the public, as well as the promotion of a culture of safety and security. This was the right thing to do, in light of the disasters that had occurred at sporting events in the past. Rev Vava stated that the principles of the Bill needed to be enshrined as prerequisites for safety, in terms of building regulations for venues, and that the needs of people with disabilities should be factored in. He added that unruly behaviour at sports events must be curbed, and that a desire for a culture of safety and protection needed to be inculcated, to allow for moral regeneration.

Rev Vava stated that, although this was a Section 75 Bill, the Committee should ensure that its contents filtered down to a provincial, local and public level, so that everyone was familiar with its and what needed to be done when hosting an event or gathering. He felt that the Department of Education could use the Bill’s contents when teaching about Events Management and should engender a culture of safety. There could be positive economic and moral opportunities for learners following this route.

Discussion
Mr Komphela stated that the Committee had heard the submission well, and appreciated the work that the SACC did. He stated that transitional issues were still with South Africa, and SACC needed to enrich people's hearts as change was difficult, and there were still two societies. South Africa still needed to come together and strive for a united South Africa not based on race, gender or creed. He was very passionate about Rev Vava’s statements and the SACC in general.

Mr Dikgwaca asked what role the Bill would play in the regulation of large church gatherings and gospel concerts.

Mr Suka stated that SACC supported the Bill and requested that its contents be made user friendly. He added that the references in the submission to the three spheres of government were noted. He also stated that the SACC was willing to help serve the Government as “messengers of God”.

Mr Vermeulen replied that the call for a more user-friendly version of the Bill was directed towards making it easier to implement. The SACC wanted the Bill to be popularised down to the local level, to allow for ease of implementation and the inculcation of a culture of safety. He added that one way of assisting churches was to help engage faith communities so that they would be engaged with understanding the content of the Bill.

Mr Komphela stated that SACC raised a very good point around informing people. A church minister who organised a large church gathering may be unaware of what he was legally mandated to do to ensure the safety and security of those attending. Mr Komphela stated that the point around responsibility in the submission was valid, and that event organisers did not currently take responsibility. It was necessary to ensure that event organisers would be responsible for the events that they organised, and he asked Mr Boshoff to comment, specifically on points 4.5.1 to 4.5.3 in the document. He asked whether the Department of Sports & Recreation intended to go on a public education campaign.

Ms Chikunga noted that the SACC also had raised the issue of persons with disabilities and their access to venues, and asked for the legal advisors’ input on this point.

Mr Boshoff replied that those planning to build a new stadium needed to comply with building regulations and South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) guidelines, which would alleviate the problems around disability access and safety and security issues. The Bill also contained control measures. The Bill’s drafters had improved the definition of an 'event' to mean a sporting, recreation, religious, cultural or entertainment event at a stadium or venue. This definition covered church gatherings. The Bill made provision for the apportioning of responsibility to the various role-players. Mr Boshoff stated that the application of integrated, timeous, safety and security planning and risk management; as well as the application of minimum requirements as set out in the Bill, also contributed to the creation of a 'culture' of safety. He added that the Bill already provided for persons with disability and that regulations would deal fully with the issue.

Mr Boshoff added that the Bill would have an impact on provincial and local government and that the Department would be conducting workshops with both spheres in order to familiarise them with the workings of the Bill. This Department had consulted with the DoE about school sport, and this was adequately addressed by the Bill, largely falling into the low risk category.

Mr Makabena added that 'event organisers' were covered under the Definitions Clause of the Bill.

Mr Komphela believed that the issue of disability needed to be legislated for in the main body of the Bill, and not in regulations, as the latter would imply lesser consideration to the issues.

Mr Boshoff concurred, and replied that the drafters would enshrine disability access and concerns in a specific Clause, to ensure that it was more visible.

Mr Komphela stated that every piece of legislation needed to cater for the needs of people with disabilities, women, children and other marginalised groups. He was concerned that if this was left to be dealt with by way of regulations, their concerns may be omitted.

Mr Makabena added that the drafters could link this to the clauses stating that the Minister of Sport and Recreation may prescribe requirements for safety. He asked whether the Chairperson was primarily concerned about access and safety.

Mr Komphela replied that he was, and stated that the Bill also needed to take the safety of persons with disabilities into account, in terms of access and egress routes in the event of a disaster.

Soul City Institute (SCI) Submission
Ms Agnes Shabalala, Researcher, Soul City Institute, tabled her presentation (see attached document). She highlighted the SCI's model of social change, its health promotion framework, and focused on its Alcohol Reduction and Violence Prevention Campaign. Ms Shabalala discussed the research that SCI had done in order to understand alcohol abuse within communities, which included an examination of the statistics of alcohol abuse. She stated that alcohol was associated with violent interpersonal interchanges. She highlighted the impact and motivators behind alcohol abuse. Ms Shabalala noted that participants agreed that there was a problem, but that alcohol abuse was considered a social norm.

Ms Savera Kalideen, Advocacy section, SCI, outlined the risk factors associated with alcohol and stated that the Bill needed to regulate places where alcohol was sold and consumed, defined as 'drinking environments' in order to reduce harm at events, and ensure that all spectators could enjoy a safe environment. She added that alcohol should be sold in containers that had the same volume of defined units of alcohol, or that the containers must be labeled to indicate how many units of alcohol they constituted.

Discussion
Mr Komphela questioned the correctness of the findings of Soul City Institute that only 30% of women drank alcohol. He thought that in South Africa the proportion was much higher.

Ms Kalideen replied that SCI had done a literature review of the East Africa region, including South Africa, using information from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Mr Komphela reiterated that he felt that South Africa specifically had a much higher proportion of female drinkers.

Ms Kalideen replied that he might be correct but that SCI was looking at WHO statistics for the entire region. She added that SCI was trying to motivate for the regulation of the number of shebeens that would be allowed in a given area, and was working with role-players to achieve this.

Mr Komphela noted that previously the number of female smokers was very low, but that too had now increased with the pace of modernisation and the exposure of females to schools that were formerly classed as Model C Schools.

Mr Dikgwaci stated that the research was a bit biased, as it did not take into account men who were the victims of violence from women under the influence of alcohol.

Ms Shabalala replied that a study conducted in 2003 showed that majority of the victims of alcohol-induced violence were women.

Mr Suka applauded the presentation, but agreed with the Chairperson that the statistics for female drinkers in South Africa should be reflected as much higher. A research study conducted in 1997, in Aberdeen, found that 99% of all this town’s population drank, because of social problems, and so alcohol use was a serious problem. Mr Suka felt that South African Breweries (SAB) should be asked to give a presentation and account for some of the statistics.

Mr Komphela replied that the Committee would ask for input from SAB, as many references were being made to the problem of alcohol in terms of safety and security.

Ms Shabalala replied that all the participants in the study except one admitted to regularly using alcohol.

Mr Suka stated that there needed to be cross-referencing with other legislation.

Mr M Mmusi (ANC) stated that during the weekend he came across a group of youths who were trying to organise a marathon on 30 December, with the aim that this should reduce alcohol assumption during the period. Mr Mmusi asked how these youths could access SCI for help.

Ms Shabalala replied that SCI would be implementing seminars soon and that the youths could contact SCI via its website. She added that communities did have ideas on alternatives to alcohol usage as a recreational activity, but that these failed to be effective, for a host of reasons. Ms Shabalala noted that some communities had said that it was difficult to close shebeens, as some were being run by SAPS officers.

Mr Komphela alluded to the point in the submission that stated that dim lighting precipitated anarchy in drinking establishments.

Ms Kalideen replied that it was the finding of the Medical Research Council (MRC), that overcrowding and dim lighting in venues was associated with violence and other issues.

Mr Komphela asked about the recommendation that glass be banned, stating that he had heard that some people did not like drinking from plastic containers, and noting that some drinks, such as whisky, only came in glass bottles. He hastened to add that because he did not drink, this recommendation came from others.

Ms Kalideen replied that SCI recommended that plastic containers or tempered glass be used in order to prevent injuries. This would require a conceptual change, but it needed to be done.

Mr Komphela stated that he had not been to any rugby or soccer games where there was not a braai and heavy drinking before the game. The people who had been drinking would then be allowed into the stadium. It would prove difficult to do alcohol testing on these people as they left the stadium, as this would impede the traffic flow out of the venue. He thought that there was a need to determine whether SAPS was allowing drunk people into venues intentionally, or whether this was an oversight on their part, as dangerous items that could be used as weapons were not allowed into venues.

Mr Boshoff replied that the majority of SCI's input would be favourably considered, but that he disagreed on some matters. He believed that the concerns raised should be covered by regulations, and there would be enabling provisions in the Bill that would allow for them, so that there was no need to incorporate all the submissions in the main body of the Bill. He noted that alcohol free zones and container size were all covered by the draft regulations. The drafters would consult with SCI on the regulations.

Mr Bertus (J A) van der Walt, Legal Advisor, SAPS, stated that Mr Boshoff was correct, and that most of the proposals mentioned in the presentation were covered by the Liquor Control Act. Each stadium would have a liquor licence subject to requirements. The National Police Commissioner and the ESSPC would be taking the considerations around risk, as raised by SCI, into account. He added that current practice was that no hard containers were allowed into events and that this type of requirement would be standardised by the regulations of the Bill.

Ms Kalideen stated that given the role of sports in society as an alternative to alcohol abuse, allowing of alcohol at sporting events was not quite logical, since alcohol undermined sporting ability.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

 

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