Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill [B7-2009]: deliberations

Sports, Arts and Culture

17 November 2009
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

The Committee deliberated on the amendments effected to the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill as a result of public hearings throughout the country and committee directives given to the Department of Sport and Recreation at previous meetings. After discussion the drafters of the legislation were instructed to incorporate all changes decided on by the Committee so that it could be approved the next day.

Issues that were discussed included the definition of stewards and their duties, as opposed to security officials. The wording of clauses on the resale of tickets was changed so that only commercial exploitation would be illegal. Members decided that no event organiser should be exempted from the provision of public liability insurance. A procedure for applying for exemptions would be put in place. This would apply to low risk events, in particular including social gatherings. Failure to provide this insurance could lead to severe penalties.

Members were concerned over the abuse of alcohol. They agreed that measures were needed to curb its use at venues and people who were intoxicated would be denied entry to venues or ejected from the venue if already inside. One of the lessons from earlier sporting event disasters was that unauthorised parking in places where it could hamper the operation of emergency vehicles would not be tolerated and heavy penalties would be imposed.

Provisions would be put in place to ensure compliance with health and emergency medical procedures. There was some doubt over the constitutionality of forcing private hospitals to treat injured people. An appeals board would be constituted, modelled on existing legislation.

Meeting report

Mr Gideon Boshoff [Senior Legal Advisor: Legislation and Contracts, Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA)] told the Members that they would have a copy of the original Bill, a copy of the Bill with the proposed changes highlighted, and a list of directives. The latter two documents incorporated changes that had been proposed during the public hearings. They were still busy with the definitions.

The Chairperson pointed out that it was not a new start. The Committee was picking up from earlier work.

Mr Patrick Rowan (Specialist Consultant, SRSA) said that the thin document presented to Members included proposals captured during the recent public hearings in the Eastern Cape. Everything had been captured in the updated Bill.

Mr L Suka (ANC) asked if there would be a list of those stakeholders who had participated in the public hearings.

Mr Rowan replied that there would be such a list.

Mr Suka said that opponents might still say that the consultation process was not wide enough.

The Chairperson said that when the Bill was given to the Committee, the stakeholders were listed at the back of the document. The Committee would brief Parliament on who had been consulted. The list would not be in the final draft.

Mr Sisa Makabeni (State Law Adviser) said that the list of stakeholders should be in the Committee’s report rather than in the Bill.

The Chairperson agreed that the entire process would be forwarded to the Announcements, Tablings, Committee Reports (ATC) in detail.

Mr Boshoff noted that the Committee had said that the definition of an ‘Event Planning Committee’ had been too short. Some definitions had now been beefed up. This particular definition had been amended.

The Chairperson said that there was a tussle between the Committee and the legal representatives. The amended definition was now clearer. This was perfect.

Mr Boshoff commented on the concept of marshals. There was a possible confusion between the role of a ‘steward’ and that of a ‘security official’. SRSA said that there was a clear delineation in the functions of these two groups of people. A security official was defined in terms of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act (PSIRA). A steward was a person who provided certain functions, including marshalling. This was in line with international practice. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) did not make a distinction between the two categories. SRSA felt that the current wording should be maintained. There was a possible conflict with the PSIRA. If this became a problem then the PSIRA would need to be amended. The definition had been revamped to include a reference to marshalling. There was a clear distinction and the PSIRA made provision for an exemption in this case.

The Chairperson did not want to pre-empt an amendment to the PSIRA. This Bill must be aligned to the PSIRA. It would be wrong to have to amend the PSIRA.

Mr Rowan said that they had grappled with this problem. Their colleague from the South African Police Services (SAPS), Mr van der Walt, had looked at the exiting exemption process. The revised definition was now fully aligned with the PSIRA.

Mr Suka agreed with this.

The Chairperson was not yet fully persuaded. They needed to look at a window of opportunity. He did not foresee the end results. The definition must be aligned to the PSIRA. That was the bottom line. He asked how it was aligned at present when applied to people who were not contracted. He needed a street committee explanation. It was a contentious issue.

Mr Rowan said that there was no challenge in terms of security officials. The definition was fully aligned with PSIRA in this regard. What the legal team had grappled with was the possibility that organisers would try to circumvent the PSIRA by appointing people as stewards but expecting them to fulfil security functions such as searching people. When PSIRA had been passed, it had cast a wide net due to problems in security legislation. For example, such diverse people as locksmiths and information technology (IT) specialists had been included in the broad definition of security personnel. The Minister had the power to exempt certain categories of people. A steward was only expected to play a role in ensuring safety and providing information for spectators and would not provide any security functions.

Mr Bert van der Walt (Director: Legal Services, SAPS) said that the way the Bill was formulated, if the person had a security function then that person must be registered. If exempted, the Minister could say that that person was fulfilling a marshalling function, then that person could be considered a steward.

The Chairperson understood now.

Mr Makabeni said that he was concerned over the exemption process. If Mr van der Walt was happy with the revised wording, then he was fine with that. The Bill had been drafted in such a way as not to conflict with the PSIRA.

The Chairperson was happy to leave it like that. All Members agreed.

Clause 5: Prohibition
Mr Boshoff said that there were about sixty issues to deal with in the Bill, of which three had now been completed. The next point was the fraudulent uttering of event tickets (illegal sale of tickets). SRSA felt that this was already a criminal offence and there was no need to incorporate penalties in this Bill. He referred to Clause 5. The blue text was the input from LOC Legal manager Leslie Sedibe. It covered all permutations.

The Chairperson queried the wording regarding complimentary tickets. He asked what was meant by the term “disposal”. It was clear that such tickets could not be sold.

Mr D Lee (DA) asked if giving a ticket away would be seen as a form of disposal.

Mr Rowan replied that giving it away was a form of disposal. What SRSA did not want to see was the commercial trade in tickets whether by cash sales, barter or swapping for some other asset. There was still a conflict. He suggested that the wording be changed to “commercially dispose”.

The Chairperson noted that Members were happy to this change to 5(2)(b). There was still a problem with sub clause (a).

Mr Rowan said that the input of the LOC lawyers had been considered. The objective of 5(2)(a) was correct. For big events some people would buy blocks of tickets with the intention to sell these at a profit later. Certain administrators had done this during the Cricket World Cup. When these people were unable to sell the tickets at a profit, they had been forced to sell them below the cost price.

The Chairperson was satisfied with The Chairperson noted that Members were happy to this change to 5(2)(e).  There was still a problem with 5(2)(a).

Mr Suka said that sub clause (b) should also be amended to “commercially dispose”.

Mr van der Walt agreed. There should be consistency in the use of “commercially dispose”.

The Chairperson asked for clarity on 5(2)(c).

Mr Rowan said that there was a problem with travel agents, who did not have a contract with the event organisers, selling travel packages that included tickets. These tickets were often at inflated prices.

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) asked if companies could still buy tickets for clients.

Mr Rowan said the position was clear regarding hospitality and travel packages. Big business had been encouraged to buy tickets for their employees. There was a need to make allowance for free entertainment.

Mr van der Walt suggested that the phrase “for commercial purpose” be included in the head of the clause.

Mr Rowan said that although a company might not be selling tickets to clients, there was still a commercial purpose in giving the tickets to the clients.

The Chairperson said that the Bill should address the output and not the intent. The intention of supplying the tickets should not be taken into account if there was no exchange of money. An important aspect had been raised.

Mr MacKenzie said that one could not say what the intent was. Giving the client a free ticket might just be a gesture of thanks.

Mr Rowan said that the intent could also be to curry favour with prospective clients.

The Chairperson said that one could not read intent.

Mr van der Walt agreed. If a person was charged, then a defence could be that Parliament never meant to go that far.

The Chairperson said that there had been a similar situation with the Termination of Pregnancy Bill. The problem was how to read the intent of the legislature. The purpose of this clause was to close the gaps surrounding reselling of tickets. He agreed that the concept of “commercial” should be included in the header of the Clause, and noted the agreement of Members of all parties. A consistent application was needed.

Mr Rowan said that in terms of the sub clause, the buyer of a ticket was as guilty as the seller.

Clause 6:
Provisional risk categorisation of events
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had said that the clause needed to be simplified. The ordinary person had to know that unplanned-for events were also catered for. Some events could not be planned beforehand, for example knockout competition matches. Clause 6(3) catered for unplanned events.

Clause 7: Safety certificates
Mr Boshoff said that Members had expressed a concern that local authorities would issue safety certificates to themselves if they were the owner of the facility to be used. This would result in a conflict of interest. SRSA proposed that in such cases an independent, registered engineer should make a recommendation.  Clause 7(4) now made provision for this. The concept of an independent person was defined.

Clause 15: Private events
Mr Boshoff said that concerns had been raised during the public hearings over exemptions for private events. It was felt that the Minister of Sport and Recreation was not the appropriate authority to authorise exemptions. A qualified official such as the National Commissioner of Police should be entrusted with this. Members also felt that the Bill should not be too over-reaching, for example there should be no need to apply for an exemption for a private function for fifty people held in a stadium with a capacity of fifty thousand. The provisions of Clause 15 should also be subject to Clause 33 (Public Liability).

Mr Boshoff said that the response of SRSA was that Clause 15 should be amended to confer the authority for granting exemptions to the Minister of Police. The authority for exemptions should be included in the new Clause 3. The reference should be specifically to the Minister of Police to avoid confusion. The generic terminology of he/she should also be incorporated. The Minister of Police could issue a broad notice to cover events such as weddings and funerals.

The Chairperson said that this argument had been fortified at the public hearings in Port Elizabeth. The spontaneous nature of events in the African culture was being ignored.

Mr Makabeni asked what would prompt the Minister to issue an exemption. He asked what procedure would apply.

Mr van der Walt agreed, and suggested that the wording “on application” should be inserted. The current wording presupposed that an application had been lodged. The Minister could exempt certain things. Organisers in rural areas could not always comply, which prompted the reference to area exemptions.

Mr Boshoff agreed that the phrase “on application” could be included.

Mr Rowan suggested that in both cases the phrase “written application in the prescribed manner” be included.

The Chairperson noted the agreement of Members.

Clause 20:
Spectator and vehicle access control
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had wanted to prevent intoxicated people from entering a stadium. The Department suggested that a new sub-clause 20(6) be included to achieve this.

Mr Rowan said that a more detailed version had been drafted. It also referred to a person who appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

Mr Suka said that there were different types of intoxication. The point had been made.

The Chairperson said that there was a generic reference in legislation to substance abuse.

Mr Rowan said that a reference would be included to a person being under the influence of prohibited substances.

Mr Boshoff felt that they should also consult with the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).

Mr Suka said that a person who was alcoholic could still have the appearance of being intoxicated despite being sober at the time.

The Chairperson said that the SAPS had criteria to judge the appearance of being intoxicated.

Clause 28: Public Liability
Mr Boshoff said that Clause 28 made provision for public liability Insurance (PLI). A new clause had been drafted thanks to the input of Mr MacKenzie. Provision was made for both short and long-term insurance companies. The Minister had the authority to exempt event organisers from providing PLI.

The Chairperson said that there was a need to ensure that legitimate companies were used. He was concerned over the huge amounts of the premiums.

Mr MacKenzie said that venue operators normally had annual policies rather than taking out PLI for specific events. The tricky part was when an outside party wished to stage an event. It was a question of their taking out their own PLI or using the cover provided by the venue operator. For example, the ABSA Stadium in Durban had PLI coverage to the extent of R49 million with a premium of R9 000 per annum.

Mr Rowan said that Ellis Park had a similar arrangement. Their annual premium was R190 000, which equated to approximately R4 000 for each event staged there. If the stadium was leased there was a question of joint and individual liability. PLI could be arranged either way.

Mr MacKenzie asked who would have sight of the PLI documentation. There was a danger that the policy might have lapsed.

The Chairperson said that the application to stage an event should detail PLI coverage.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked if the PLI only covered damage to the stadium structure or made provision for compensation to people as well.

Mr Rowan replied that the purpose of PLI was compensating persons in the event of death or injury. The stadium would have its own insurance to cover physical damage.

The Chairperson noted that 90% of the taxis operating in the parliamentary precinct did not have PLI. He said that the provision did not sound right.

Mr Rowan said that it was up to the Members to decide. During the public hearings an opinion had been raised that PLI might be unnecessary. It was an expense to local government, which owned most of the facilities. However, the legal team felt that there should be no exemptions.

Mr Boshoff said that local government felt that, as owners of facilities, it should have the option to take out PLI or not. This explained the provision for applications for exemption.

Mr Lee believed that there should be no exemptions.

Mr MacKenzie said that many of the families of those who died at Ellis Park had not been compensated. He could not understand why there was not already a requirement for PLI.

Mr Suka said that municipalities must have some responsibility. At the same time many municipalities were in a poor financial condition.

The Chairperson said that Mr MacKenzie had researched the issue. There should be a “pay-as-you-go” option. There must be another reason. Organisers should be encouraged to buy event coverage.

Mr Boshoff said that small municipalities would only be hosting low threat events. This would allow for some discrimination.

Mr Rowan said that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) had made this submission. Many of their matches were staged at municipal venues.

The Chairperson said that they must avoid the possibility of constitutional challenges. Where a municipality had PLI, they could not allow big organisations to ride on their backs.

Mr Makabeni said that PLI could be linked to a specific event rather than being linked to a stadium.

Mr MacKenzie asked who determined the appropriate value for an event. Some guidelines were needed.

Mr Rowan said that there was a reference to the short-term insurance ombudsman as an arbitrator. The matter should be dealt with in the regulations attached to the Bill.

The Chairman was dubious of SRSA’s record with regulations. The Committee had been waiting for SRSA to provide regulations for ten years for one of their Acts. Regulations should come to the Committee for endorsement before being signed by the Minister.

Mr Boshoff said there were two kinds of regulations. The regulations for the Special Measures Act would be presented to the Committee soon. The Act mandated the Minister to submit regulations to the Committee. In other cases the Minister could prescribe regulations without recourse to the Portfolio Committee.

The Chairperson said that this procedure was wrong. One assumed that Parliament dealt with a Bill. The regulations were part of the Bill so Parliament must have the right to see the regulations. A Sports Act had been passed four years previously, but the regulations had never been sent to the Committee. He asked what would happen if the regulations were contrary to the spirit of the Act.

Mr Boshoff said that the Committee was operating under a misunderstanding. Some legislation required the regulations to pass through the Portfolio Committee and some did not.

The Chairperson said that any amendment was subject to public scrutiny. The Committee must check the regulations to see that they agreed with the Act. He had a different understanding of fast tracking.

Mr Suka asked if it would be possible to get the regulations by February 2010.

The Chairperson said that there were huge implications. The version of the Bill was not the product of the Minister. The Committee could rewrite it as they saw fit. The amount of insurance should relate to the number of people involved. It should be linked to the category of the event. The SAPS had said that PLI should be related to the nature and size of the gathering.

Mr Boshoff said that this made sense. All of this should be captured in the regulations.

Mr van der Walt said that the certification should be discussed during the planning stage.

Clause 17: Prohibited items
Mr Boshoff said that the issue of the old South African flag had been raised. SRSA felt that this should be included in the list of prohibited items. It was addressed under new Clause 17(1)(b)(xvii).

The Chairperson said that he had seen that flag too often and did not want to see it displayed again.

Mr van der Walt said that he would feel more comfortable if it was included in the regulations. It was a grey area at present.

Mr Rowan said that in the early version of the Bill there had been a proposed schedule of prohibited items. The old flag had been included on the list.

The Chairperson said that FIFA had made it clear that while the vuvuzela would be tolerated at World Cup venues, if any were thrown onto the field they would be regarded as a missile and be banned. He asked if there was anything else on the list.

Mr Lee asked how it would be possible to control the vuvuzelas if a ban came into effect during a match.

Mr Suka asked what could be done if there was some provocateur looking to provoke an incident that would see the vuvuzela banned.

The Chairperson said there were processes in place. The disasters at Orkney and Ellis Park had forced a rethink on this issue.

Mr Rowan said that the draft regulations would list prohibited items.

The Chairperson said that the regulations would be open to amendment if necessary.

Clause 26: Appeal board
Mr Boshoff proposed that discussion of the clause relating to the Appeal Board should be shelved. It was copy of a section from the Broadcasting Act. It could be discussed at a later stage during the meeting. It followed the standard provisions of other Bills.

Clause 30: Offences and penalties
Mr Boshoff said that SRSA felt that the clause should be amended. The main concern was the failure to provide for PLI. There should be a differentiation based on the seriousness of the offence.

Mr Lee said that he was not a lawyer or magistrate, but as he understood the Bill it made provision for a minimum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment for the worst categories of offences. He asked how the penalties compared to other crimes such as murder.

Ms D Schafer (DA) asked if there were any consequences for non-compliance.

Mr Makabeni said that they did not want to create too many offences. There were other recourses.

Mr Rowan said that serious offences carried the maximum penalty. Discretion would be needed in sentencing. The normal terminology was being used. There was no provision for minimum sentences.

The Chairperson noted that there were no penalties regarding the Appeals Board. He asked what informed the penalties for the lesser offences.

Mr van der Walt said that the penalties acted as an indication to the court as to how seriously Parliament regarded each offence. The Constitutional Court only allowed minimum sentences to be legislated in specific cases.

The Chairperson felt that the penalties in terms of PLI offences should be related to the gravity of any resulting disasters. Factors such as the size of the crowd and category of the event should be considered.

Mr Makabeni said that the twenty-year maximum sentence applied to any offence regarding PLI. It would up to the court to interpret the seriousness of the offence.

Mr Boshoff said that additional offences had been included. New provision had been made for persons being under the influence of liquor and illegal parking. These were sub-clauses (u) and (v).

Mr Rowan said that sub clause (v) was a result of the Ellis Park experience. Illegally parked vehicles had prevented access to the stadium for emergency vehicles. Sub-clause (u) would be amended to include prohibited substances.

Mr Makabeni said that selling liquor inside the stadium was not an offence. It was an offence to enter the stadium in an intoxicated condition. Spectators could legally become intoxicated once inside.

The Chairperson said that measures were needed to decrease the chance of spectators becoming intoxicated once inside the venue. The alternative was to impose a complete ban on alcohol. The best international practice was to allow the sale of alcohol for restricted time periods, such as during the half-time break at a football match only. Plastic glasses had to be used as metal and glass containers could be used as missiles.

Mr Suka said there was a case in Port Elizabeth where a person had tried to enter a stadium armed with a knobkerrie, which he claimed was a traditional weapon. He had been turned away. The security staff had acted well. He questioned sub clause (t), which dealt with commercial activities.

The Chairperson said that commercial activities had to be authorised. Trade was restricted to designated areas. There was a need for control and management.

Mr Rowan said that vendors needed to be accredited. Health inspectors and disaster management officials also had a say as to the location of vendors’ stalls, especially those preparing and selling food.

The Chairperson emphasised that the intention was not to deny permission to vendors but rather to control their activities in the interests of public safety.

Ms Schafer had some sympathy for the State Law Adviser. It was hard to define what ‘being under the influence’ meant. She asked if the law would also apply to those spectators in corporate suites and hospitality areas. She felt that the Bill should perhaps rather address obnoxious behaviour.

Mr Rowan said that the SAPS had various tests. There were visible symptoms such as impaired gait and vomiting which were indicators of intoxication. There was supporting case law.

The Chairperson said that a person must demonstrate the symptoms alluded to by Mr Rowan to be suspected of intoxication. In his opinion, alcohol should only be sold during breaks and after the match. Any person who appeared to be intoxicated should not be allowed to enter the stadium. Restricted alcohol sales should limit the amount of drinking during a match.

Mr Rowan remembered that the Chairperson had warned them that it could be a long debate. A balance was needed between public and commercial interests. One of the considerations during the planning of an event had to be the control of liquor consumption. It was still an offence to be drunk in public. If there was an outright ban on alcohol sales there could be some challenges.

The Chairperson did not foresee any legal challenges to his proposal, but felt that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) might hold a protest march.

Mr Boshoff said that peace officers may refuse access to any person who appeared intoxicated. That could be measured.

Mr MacKenzie asked how this would apply to private suites at stadiums.

The Chairperson related a recent experience where he had been invited to a private suite for a match. No alcohol was served once the game had started. Children had been prevented from entering the suite. The bar had been closed when the game started. At other times there was a reluctance to allow guests sitting on the outside to be served with liquor. He was very impressed by this form of control.

Mr Makabeni said that Clause 20(6) prevented the entry of an intoxicated person. He suggested that this be expanded to include a provision for a person to be asked to leave once in the ground. Refusal to obey this instruction could be seen as an offence in terms of failure to follow an instruction.

Mr Suka asked what the position would be at festivals where this was an open door policy. Recreational events included festivals. A balance was needed to the constant television advertisements for alcoholic products. On the other hand members had an obligation to curb the use of alcohol in the public interest.

The Chairperson felt that this Bill would go to addressing the balance.

Mr MacKenzie needed to know how to explain this to his constituents.

Clause 2: Exemptions
Mr Boshoff said that Clause 2 made provision for exemption of events for which the South African Government had provided guarantees. The response from the Department was that it would draft exemptions for major events. A new Clause 2(2) had been written. This did not apply to gatherings contemplated under the Regulation of Gatherings Act of 1993. The two pieces of legislation could co-exist, but this Bill could not override the Act. This submission came from the LOC.

Mr Boshoff said that there had been an exemption for water sports. SRSA felt that this exemption should not be in the Bill as disciplines such as Formula 1 powerboat racing, were extremely dangerous. The provision would be deleted.

The Chairperson agreed.

Clause 14: Inspection powers
Mr Boshoff said that a Member had questioned the power of inspection where a business was run from private premises. SRSA was satisfied that the current provision was aligned with the Constitution. The provision would remain in the Bill. Members had also questioned whether the Bill should apply to municipalities, especially the small ones. SRSA felt that the Bill should be general legislation. To exempt municipalities might be inconsistent. There was also an enquiry if the Bill would also apply in the areas surrounding a venue. SRSA was satisfied that the Bill would apply within the precinct of a venue.

Clause 17: Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had requested that the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) be included as a role player. This had been included as the new Clause 17 (3). Event organisers would now have to submit their plans regarding the planned deployment of security officers to PSIRA.

Ms Schafer said that PSIRA was in huge chaos. Their inability to process such a request might hamper or prevent the plans from being authorised.

The Chairperson said that it was not possible to legislate to cover poor compliance.

Ms Schafer said that Government could not pass a law that was unimplementable. She asked what the consequences would be if the problems with PSIRA delayed an event.

Mr van der Walt said that sub clause (3) had been inserted on the request of PSIRA to ensure compliance with the PSIRA. The staging of the event was not dependent on their approval.

The Chairperson said that PSIRA was in such disarray that he wondered if it would not impact on events. Applications were to be submitted three months in advance, but might not be processed in time because of this problem.

Mr van der Walt said that the Bill merely stated that a submission must be made to PSIRA. The work of the planning committee would not be affected.

Ms Schafer said that the Bill also said that compliance must be confirmed. This could be ambiguous.

Mr Rowan said that Ms Schafer was correct. The Bill assumed that PSIRA was running efficiently. The wording of the clause should be changed to allow some discretion.

Mr van der Walt said that there was never any intention in the legislation to stall plans until PSIRA had responded.

Mr Makabeni said that the Bill could be watered down. The law should be general. He conceded that it might be ambiguous. He suggested that the phrase “to confirm” be changed to “to satisfy itself with”.

Afternoon session

Clause 28: Public liability insurance
Mr Boshoff said that they had already dealt with the question of compulsory PLI for municipalities.

Clause 6: Risk Categorisation of events
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had proposed that the National Commissioner should determine the categorisation of events. SRSA supported the amendment, and Clause 6 would be deleted in its entirety. The SAPS accepted the responsibility.

Clause 3: Event organisers
Mr Boshoff now referred to submissions that had been made during public hearings in the Free State and Gauteng. The first was that the minimum age for an event organiser should be raised from eighteen years to 21. SRSA agreed and Clause 3(8)(a) would be amended accordingly.

The Chairperson asked if there was not a requirement for a certain level of experience.

Mr Boshoff replied that the requirements were in Clause 4(8). There had been a suggestion that the minimum age of 21 be applied to all except low-key events. SRSA disagreed and felt that there should be a single standard.

The Chairperson felt that the door was being closed on young organisers.

Mr van der Walt said that the issue had been discussed at some length. In fact, the lower the category of the event the more would be the workload of the organiser. There would be more hands available to assist with the planning of higher category events.

Ms Schafer said that there was more mentorship within an organisation. She felt that there was no need to legislate on this issue.

The Chairperson felt that a straightjacket was being applied to young organisers. Opportunities had to be created. Many with their own security companies had learned from their previous employment. Resources were a key element, but perhaps young people might not have the relevant experience.

Mr Rowan said that Mr van der Walt had made a sound argument. It was absolutely true.

The Chairperson said that the smaller the event, the closer people would be to the planning activities. The organiser was in overall charge of the planning but did not necessarily do all the work. There were many more headaches associated with top grade events. Smaller events had smaller consequences.

Mr Boshoff said that the Bill also provided for training of event organisers. He asked why there could not be provision created for persons under the age of 21 to learn from more experienced supervisors. In that way young organisers could gain experience before they were regarded as qualified.

The Chairperson said that the Bill must have the intention to boost 21 year olds.

Mr Rowan suggested that a minimum age of eighteen years could be specified for low risk events and 21 for other events.

The Chairperson decided that the minimum age for all events should stay at 21 years. The Committee would accept public opinion in this case.

Clause 8, 16 and 23 on the subject of access for persons with disabilities
Mr Boshoff said that the public hearings had raised concerns regarding the access to stadiums for persons with disabilities. SRSA agreed that amendments were needed. Clause 8(2) was added to address safety and infrastructure issues and Clauses 16 and 23 would be amended.

Clause 18:
Accreditation and access to designated areas
Mr Boshoff said that the City of Johannesburg had requested that Clause 18, dealing with the Venue Operation Centre (VOC) should be beefed up. Areas where improvement was needed included access control, technical specifications and decision-making matrices. They felt that legislation should prevent superior officers from interfering in the work of the VOC. Also, all appointed officials should remain in the VOC for the duration of the event. SRSA felt that this matter would be better dealt with in regulations. Clause 18 made provision for this but more detail could be included in the regulations. The Chairperson was however saying that these things should be mentioned upfront in the Bill.

The Chairperson asked for examples of what would go into the regulations.

Mr Rowan said that examples would be public education about prohibited items, reserved seating, and traffic and parking regulations.

Mr Boshoff said that there had been a submission from the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and
Sail (South African Investments Ltd). This had addressed the safeguarding of the interests of event organisers and venue owners against unreasonable measures being called for by the VOC. SRSA was of the opinion that current measures were sufficient to guard against abuses of power by the VOC commander. Decisions to prevent spectators from entering a venue or placing restrictions on them should only be made if there was a serious threat. The matter had already been addressed.

The Chairperson noted the agreement of Members.

The Chairperson said that there had been an argument in George. The minimum rank for the commander of a VOC should be Superintendent. The counter argument was that an ordinary policeman might be better equipped to deal with whatever emergencies might arise.

Mr Boshoff said that Clause 15(1) now specified that a VOC official must be qualified and experienced in related event matters. Clause 17(3)(b) specified the qualifications for a VOC commander. The minimum rank was Captain.

Mr van der Walt said that the criteria should be experience and qualifications. The question of interference by senior officers should best be addressed by SAPS internal instructions.

Clause 45: Regulations
Mr Boshoff said that the need for public education on the Bill and regulations had been raised. This would be the responsibility of SRSA and the SAPS. The department accepted the responsibility. Owners and organisers would also have a role to play. This was listed in Clause 45(1)(h). The Bill should refer to minimum safety and security requirement. SRSA felt that this would be best handled in the regulations.

Mr Suka said that public education should be held leading up to the promulgation of the Bill. This should be done by Parliament through the Committees.

The Chairperson said that the Department of Police should have an awareness campaign. SRSA should also maintain such a campaign. It was not the sole responsibility of the SAPS. The SAPS often visited schools to provide information. This would be fine.

Mr van der Walt said that the SAPS would drive a media campaign. There would be information on their website.

The Chairperson was a member of the Police Forum. They visited schools and discussed various crime issues with the children.

Clause 1: Definition of an ‘event’
Mr Boshoff said that the next directive dealt with the Committee’s request for research into PLI. This matter had already been addressed.

Mr Boshoff said that an non-government organisation (NGO) had submitted a request that the Committee revisit the threshold level of spectator numbers. Their suggestion was that 4 000 be the minimum number for an event to be defined. Safeguards were necessary to prevent exploitation by unscrupulous operators. The Department felt that this could create a loophole. Organisations could disguise themselves as NGOs in order to exploit any such provision.

Clause 16: Volunteers
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had directed SRSA to expand the provisions regarding volunteers, their deployment across all disciplines and better co-ordination with the SAPS. SRSA felt that this would be better addressed by regulations. Volunteers were referred to in Clause 16(3)(b)(iii).

Mr Rowan said that the Bill recognised the role of volunteers but that the detail was best suited for the regulations.

Prevention of racist behaviour
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had enquired if there was any measure to prevent racist behaviour. SRSA responded that there was a specific provision in Clause 30 to prevent racist behaviour at events.

Mr Rowan said that there was a heavy penalty prescribed in Clause 44(1).

Ms Schafer felt that the clause was not inclusive enough. She suggested that the wording be changed to “including but not limited to” to provide discretion to prosecute a wide range of offences.

Mr Boshoff accepted this suggestion.

Clause 17 on parking of vehicles
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had proposed specific regulations regarding the parking of vehicles in the vicinity of stadiums. SRSA had decided to amend the provisions of Clause 17(1)(d) to reflect the request of the Committee.

Clause 1: Definition of ‘organise’
Mr Boshoff said that Cricket South Africa (CSA) had made a submission that the Bill did not cover events organised by private entities such as the Indian Premier League and SANZAR. SRSA disagreed with that interpretation and said that the definition would cover such events.

Mr Rowan agreed that the definition was broad enough.

Mr Boshoff said that the definition of ‘organise’ was also wide enough.

The Chairperson noted the agreement of Members.

Clause 16: Composition of Event Safety and Security Planning Committee
Mr Boshoff said that CSA had made a submission on the composition of an Event Safety and Security Planning Committee (ESSPC). They felt that the same composition was not needed for medium and high-risk events. SRSA responded that they felt that the same composition should be in place for both categories of event. However, they conceded that the national body was only required to be present at high-risk events. Local provincial bodies could represent the national body on medium risk event ESSPCs.

Mr Rowan said that while the national body was the primary stakeholder, the provision of Clause 16(3)(a) would be amended to say that the national controlling body only needed to be represented on the ESSPC for high-risk events. The local affiliate and stadium owner would form the ESSPC for medium risk events.

The Chairperson had no problem with this change.

Clause 20 on the subject of information on tickets
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had required that certain information should be printed on the back of event tickets.

Mr Rowan said that Clause 19(7) would be amended to reflect this.

Clause 9 on the subject of safety signage
Mr Boshoff said that the issue of safety and security signage had been raised during the public hearings in the southern Cape. The Committee had directed that specific provision should be made regarding the minimum level of safety and security signage. SRSA had undertaken to explore the issue. Clause 9(2)(b) dealt indirectly with signage. Detailed requirements would be contained in the regulations.

The Chairperson was satisfied with this arrangement.

Clause 17 on the subject of emergency medical treatment
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had directed that SRSA research minimum emergency medical requirements. The issue had been raised repeatedly at public hearings. SRSA proposed to deal with the issue in Clause 17. The Minister of Health would soon be issuing regulations pertaining to health measures at mass gatherings.

Mr Rowan suggested that they bow to the superior knowledge of the Department of Health (DoH) in this regard. Very detailed instructions would be included in the regulations. It would be better to cross-reference the requirements under the Bill to applicable health legislation. The DoH was very defensive of attempts to trespass on their specialist areas.

Ms Shafer said that compelling provisions should be in the Bill.

Mr Rowan said that Clause 15(3)(a)(vi) contained requirements for medical personnel.

Ms Shafer said that SRSA could not make legislation affecting another Department.

Mr Makabeni said that he thought this was covered by Clause 16(1)(c)(vii).

The Chairperson felt the need to coin the suggestion made by Ms Schafer.

Ms Schafer said that the health authorities prescribed health measures.

The Chairperson said that clear norms and standards should be drawn from the DoH.

Mr Boshoff said that this Clause would be revisited.

The Chairperson said that the element being omitted at present was a clear direction.

Mr Rowan said that they had to solution for the so-called Schafer Clause. The Bill would deal with low risk events, but for medium and high risk events there would a reference to the Health Act.

Clauses 6 and 17 on the subject of alcohol abuse
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had re-iterated its requirement for measures to curb alcohol abuse. SRSA felt that specific provisions were contained in Clauses 6(7)(k) and 17(1)(a). There was also a specific provision in the A-Bill. The legislation was permeated with reference to alcohol control. Details would be published in the regulations.

The Chairperson agreed with this.

Clauses 5, 8 and 17 on the subject of excessive spectators
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had directed SRSA to consider the question of more spectators arriving for an event than had been planned for. SRSA felt that the National Commission, in considering an application, should determine whether the venue was large enough to accommodate the expected number of spectators. The ESSPC also had to consider aspects.

Mr Rowan said that Clause 6(7)(a) and (b)gave the classification criteria. Clause 16 considered the functions of the ESSPC. The safety certificate should state the capacity of the venue for that event.

Mr Dikgacwi asked if any consideration was given to the day of the week on which the event was planned. This might affect the number of spectators.

Mr van der Walt said that this was stipulated in Clause 6(7)(l).

The Chairperson said that sub clause(q)referred to separate laws that regulated political gatherings. He suggested that this reference be removed.

Mr van der Walt said that the reference there was to the political implications of certain international fixtures, for example if there was a match between the United States of America and Iraq, or between Pakistan and India.

Clause 1: Definition of an event
Mr Boshoff said that Members had directed SRSA to ensure that PLI should be in place for all events. The response of SRSA was that the definition of an event as tabled in the introduced version of the Bill should be retained. There was no reference to the number of spectators. To ensure that the provisions would not be overreaching, Clauses 5, 16 and 24 would be amended to refer to events with a minimum number of spectators of 2 000. The Bill would be applicable to any event held at a particular stadium.

Mr Rowan said there had to be a broad interpretation of an event. For example, there had been serious disciplinary problems at some Western Province club rugby matches. This is why the reference to 2 000 spectators had been removed from the definition.

Mr Boshoff said that Members had requested SRSA to consider whether a “club” was provided for in the definitions. SRSA was satisfied that the definition of an event organiser would include a club. There was a problem in the National Sports and Recreation Act. There was a specific requirement for the definition of a club in that Act regarding the recruitment of foreigners to participate in sport in South Africa.

The Chairperson asked if this was acceptable to Members.

Ms Schafer asked why there was a differentiation on clubs because of foreigners.

The Chairperson said that the Moroka Swallows football club had taken a matter to court. SRSA would lose the case as the NSRA spoke only to federations. There was a battle between the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Athletics South Africa (ASA). There were shocking revelations of bribery. SASCOC could not be involved in such things. Confederations could not make political decisions. People thought that this Committee was being vindictive.

Clause 16: Administrative timeframes
Mr Boshoff said that the first paragraph in Clause 16 could be disregarded. There was a high turnover of staff in the private security industry. The question of the definition of a steward had already been discussed.

Clause 15: SAPS participation in ESSPC
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee’s request that the qualifications of SAPS members serving on the ESSPC had been incorporated.

Clause 44: Parking offences
Mr Boshoff said that the issues surrounding parking offences had been discussed.

The Chairperson said that if a vehicle was parked in the path of emergency service vehicles it was not enough to fine the driver. The vehicle should be removed immediately. In some cases people had parked on a helipad. The fine levied should not be trivial. Government must get rid of the sense of entitlement that caused people to feel justified in flouting the law.

Mr Boshoff said that the list of additional offences now included illegal and unauthorised parking. There was a maximum five-year prison sentence. He felt that this was inadequate.

The Chairperson did not want to sound malicious. However, he felt that life was too precious to be put in jeopardy by inconsiderate motorists. Severe action was needed.

Mr Rowan assured him that action would be taken against culprits in terms of Clause 44(10)(v). This made provision for a ten-year sentence.

Mr Suka said that there should be three components to the implementation of the Bill. One of these should be an aggressive advocacy programme.

The Chairperson said that ignorance of the law would be no excuse. Some matters did not need a public education programme. Some highly educated people were guilty of such offences. Members were satisfied.

Clause 5: Protection of 2010 World Cup ticketing interests
Mr Boshoff said that the Chairperson had requested SRSA to insert a Clause that would protect the interests of the LOC in terms of ticketing. A new Clause 5 had been incorporated.

Long title
Mr Boshoff said that during the Eastern Cape public hearings the Committee had requested an insertion into the Long Title of the Bill. This would stress the accountability of event organisers.

Mr Rowan said that this had been done.

The Chairperson said that people had a perception that issues raised in public hearings and submissions were ignored. The adoption of these suggestions would dispel such misconceptions.

Clause 1: Definition of a ‘person’
Mr Boshoff said that SRSA had been directed to insert a definition of a person. This would cover a juristic person. This had been done.

Clause 10: Incomplete structures
Mr Boshoff said that the Committee had made an additional requirement for the timeframes for the completion of building work. A new Clause 10(2)(h) would cover situations where work was progressing on stadiums that were still in used.

Mr Suka, acting as Chairperson, agreed with the wording. He asked if timeframes had been attached by the LOC.

Mr Boshoff said that the directive said that inspections should occur as part of the work of the Event Safety & Security Planning Committee (ESSPC). SRSA had decided that the provisions of the old Clause 17 should be amended to provide for compulsory involvement of inspectors in the ESSPC process.

Mr Rowan said that this was included in Clause 16(1)(b)(xi).

Clause 15: Accountability of ESSPC
Mr Boshoff said that the word “accountability” would be included in the provisions regarding the ESSPC. SRSA had responded by amending the wording of the clause to reflect the accountability of event organisers regarding safety and security arrangements. This was reflected in the new clause 15(5). The national controlling body had been added to the old clause 17(b) for consistency.

Mr Rowan referred to the new Clause 16(1)(b)(iv).

Mr Boshoff said that a compulsory requirement had been included for pilot projects and rehearsals for high-risk events. After consultation with the SAPS the Department felt that this would impose an unnecessary burden on organisers.

Mr Rowan felt that this imposition would make costs prohibitive. The Bill did make provision for conditions in the granting of a certificate. Pilot projects had been conducted for most major events.

Mr Lee agreed that there must not be excessive financial burdens on organisers. He agreed that there should be pilot projects if the costs were not too high.

Mr Suka said the point was well taken.

Clause 45: Advertising
Mr Boshoff said that there was a directive that all advertising for an event should include an advice that it was being organised in terms of the Act. SRSA had agreed to this.

Mr Rowan said that it was included in Clause 45 and would be included in regulations.

Mr Boshoff said that there was a directive to control the level of marketing and give-aways by suite holders and advertisers. SRSA responded that there were already provisions for this in the draft regulations. The theme of accountability should run throughout the Bill. Provision would be made for the compulsory retention of PSIRA compliant security officers. These measures were included in the draft regulations.

Mr Rowan referred the Members to Clauses 16(1)(q) and 45(1)(l), which also touched on the training of stadium personnel.

Mr Boshoff said that SRSA had been directed to reconsider the minimum rank requirement for a VOC commander. The Department was satisfied with the minimum rank of captain but stressed the need for event experience.

Clause 4: Responsibility for safety and security planning
Mr Boshoff said that there was debate whether the responsibility for safety and security planning should rest with the ESSPC or the SAPS. SRSA felt that the SAPS should remain in charge. Clause 4(3)(b) had been amended. The responsibility for medium and high-risk events would remain with the SAPS.

Clause 10: Alterations and extensions
Mr Boshoff said that there was a need for a clear definition on alterations and extensions to venues. SRSA felt that there were already provisions in the draft regulations. The matter had already been covered. The amendment had been made to Clause 10(2)(h).

The Chairperson agreed with this.

Section 16: Safety and security requirements
Mr Boshoff said clarity was required on the detail of safety and security measures. SRSA felt that this would be covered in the draft regulations.

Mr Rowan said that the regulations were very detailed. There were 29 measures listed. Members of the Joint Committee had insisted that there be provision for compulsory admission to the nearest medical centre for any sportsperson or event participant. SRSA felt that this would be best addressed by the draft medical regulations. It would be cross-referenced in the new Clause 45(2). There would be a reference to the Medical Act.

Ms Schafer was concerned over the imposition on private companies. She asked if it was not the law that any medical facility must accept an emergency. She asked if this was constitutional.

The Chairperson felt that it was not.

Mr Rowan said that it could be done. There were precedents in the USA. It would not be unconstitutional to oblige the nearest hospital to accept emergency cases.

The Chairperson said that it was the spirit of the Bill that the best medical care should be provided. There was a need to double check on this. Once a patient had been stabilised he or she could be transported to the nearest state hospital.

Mr MacKenzie said that he was the chairperson of a club. His experience was that injured players were not admitted to private hospitals unless they were on medical aid. This was very problematic.

The Chairperson said that the issue had been raised at the public hearings.

Ms Schafer agreed with the principle that a person whose life was threatened should be treated.

The Chairperson said that treatment had to be provided in the event of a disaster or serious injury.
Clause 16: Protection of the environment
The Chairperson said that sportspeople had not considered the environment. Education was needed. Venues had to be environmentally sensitive. The new stadium in Port Elizabeth had incorporated environmentally friendly features.

Mr Boshoff said that Section 12 of the National Sports and Recreation Act dealt with the question of the environment and sports activities. Government bodies had to lay down guidelines.

The Chairperson said that the Committee needed extensive interaction. There was a lack of understanding on the impact on the environment.

Appeals Board
Mr Boshoff said an Appeals Board would be put in place.

Mr Rowan said that Clauses 26 to 41 covered the Appeals Board. These Clauses covered all aspects, such as the requirements, dissolution of the Board and membership. It was based on the provisions for an Appeals Board in the Broadcasting Act.

Mr lee noted that there would be seven members. Quorum would consist of three members. He asked if this was healthy.

The Chairperson said that there had been a long debate over this. All the references were to existing practices. There was a formula for the composition of the board.

Mr Lee said that a guarded approach must be followed. The board would make binding decisions. The quorum should be more than half of the members. The total number of members should be an odd number.

Mr Suka said that an even number did not make sense when it came to a vote. Three members would be less than half the board.

Ms Schafer said that the chairperson of the board should have a casting vote. She agreed that the quorum should be four as it might be difficult to get more members together at one time.

The Chairperson said that the Members then accepted that the quorum should consist of four members. The chairperson would exercise a casting vote when necessary.

Ms Schafer noted that one of the members must be a lawyer with at least two years experience of the Act. She felt that this would be difficult if not impossible for the first two years. The law was the law.

The Chairperson proposed that the wording of the Bill should be changed to the requirement for a lawyer being one with two years experience and knowledge of the substance of the Act.

Mr Boshoff said that there was a provision in Clause 26(5) that the members should possess special knowledge. The board would play an overview role.

Ms Shafer confirmed that the requirement for specific knowledge of the substance of the Act would fall away.

The Chairperson agreed.

Mr Boshoff said that Clause 30(2)(b) made provision for the National Assembly (NA) to dissolve the board. There was a process for their removal if so decided by the NA.

Mr Makabeni said that the function of the appeal board was different to that of the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). That board had an oversight role and the members thus had fiduciary duties.

The Chairperson was sceptical of giving the Minister absolute power.

Mr Makabeni said that the powers of the Minister were not unfettered. They were subject to resolutions of the NA.

The Chairperson said there was nothing wrong with outsourcing the powers of Parliament. However there should be no usurping of Parliament’s right to legislate. There should be some recourse in the activities of entities. Parliament should maintain control. The Board of Boxing South Africa was in a shambles.

Mr Lee had been in Parliament for sixteen years. This was the first time that a Committee had gone around the country and actually listened to the people.

Mr MacKenzie agreed. The perception to which the Chairperson alluded was being disproved.

Mr Suka said there had been some valuable inputs in the provinces. The Bill had been on the cards since 2001 but was now coming to fruition. The Chairperson had led the process well.

The Chairperson acknowledged that this had been a heavy job. He appreciated the contributions that had been made, including those from the Portfolio Committee on Police. There had been valuable inputs.

Mr Rowan thanked the Members for their work.

Mr Boshoff thanked the Members for the interactions and praised the quality of the leadership.

Mr van der Walt echoed these sentiments. It had been enlightening to see the democratic process in action.

The Chairperson requested the legal team to put together a clean document. They Committee would meet the next day to do a clause-by-clause acceptance of the Bill.

The meeting was adjourned.


  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: