Public hearings on new Safety Bill kicks-off

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pretoria - Parliament's Portfolio Committees on Police and Sports and Recreation will hold public hearings across the country on the proposed Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill.

The Bill aims to promote and protect the physical well being and safety of all persons and property at sports and recreational events. The need for the Bill came as a result of the recent spate of violence at sporting events.

On Thursday, provincial public hearings will be conducted at the Mangaung Regional Hall in Bloemfontein and in the Umtshezi Local Municipality in Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal.

Next week, the public hearings will continue in Mthatha, East London, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Ekurhuleni.

Through the public hearings, the committees will be able to further facilitate public involvement in the legislative processes.

With at least 270 days left before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Bill will possibly have a significant impact on the safety and security measures at and around the venues.

According to the proposed Bill, a stadium should have a robust and purpose specific design and a permanent or temporary physical security system in place to secure the field of play.

The design should also incorporate emergency exit gates onto the field of play, to secure the field of play.

The Bill further states that a stadium, where a high and medium risk event is to be hosted, must have a robust fence and/or a wall in place, with a minimum height of three meters, which physically demarcates the inner and outer perimeter of the stadium.