Cape Town wants to host South Africa’s first major ‘coronavirus-safe’ event

 ·7 Sep 2020

The City of Cape Town has written to the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture requesting that it be allowed to host a major drive-in as a proof of concept for future events around South Africa.

The request comes after Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa met with members of the events industry last week to discuss the reopening of the sector.

As part of the meeting, the South African Communication Industries Association (SACIA) presented the stringent safety measures and protocols they plan have put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 at events organised by any of their affiliated member organisations.

Some of the proposals include:

  • The prohibition of the consumption of alcohol at events with over 300 participants;
  • A separate safety plan for 1,000 participants (drive-ins);
  • Using technology, such as electronic capacity monitoring systems, to track how many participants are at events at any given time;
  • New regulations on the number of participants at events, currently set at 50 people, to take into consideration the size/area or total capacity of venues and not the current 50 participants’ restriction, as this does not ensure that safety protocols of social distancing are respected.

The City of Cape Town has expressed interest in the new proposals and said it would be interested in hosting a drive-in event with 1,000 participants.

“We have written to the national department requesting that the City of Cape Town be allowed to host a drive-in event to showcase the proof of concept for such future events,”

“We believe we are equipped and have established platforms to test and to evaluate the feasibility of hosting such a proof of concept drive-in event in the Mother City.”

The city said that the event will assist the events industry to commence recovery and to alleviate the economic distress it is currently facing.

It said that its Events Coordination Committee (ECC) has drawn up a standard operating document to be used as a guide for event organisers as part of the permit application process. These are in line with the Disaster Management Act and national health directives.

“There is a major focus on a contactless environment, strict health and safety protocols for all events to ensure the safety of participants, staff, service providers and patrons as a top priority.

“The city has already implemented standard operating procedures which have allowed the film industry to operate in a safe environment over the last four months and we believe our event protocols will achieve the same.”

Read: New proposals to re-open the events industry in South Africa

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