Two pieces of legislation are being debated or promulgated which could have a far-reaching impact on two prime MICE suppliers.

Staging & Production Moves Swiftly

The change-over from analogue to digital has prompted ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) the re-allocation of radio frequencies used by wireless microphones and public address systems.  This means that staging and production – so vital within the majority of MICE gatherings – will likely experience interference when using existing, well-known and accepted frequencies.  The impact on so many MICE fundamentals cannot be ignored

The implications are serious with such short timelines for submissions to ICASA from the industry – that the industry body SACIA (SA Communications Industry Assoc) with their special interest group TPSA (Technical Production Services Assoc) have already had a meeting with plans underway to make written representation by the 27th January.  This is a commendable initiative by the SACIA CEO Kevan Jones.

Venues Watching Closely New Potential Liquor Constraints

It was announced in Tourism Update some weeks ago of the amended liquor laws which define that no alcohol may be sold or served by an outlet within a radius of 500 metres from a school, university, college and the like.   The amended legislation implies that unless one is at a remote game lodge – the selling and serving of alcohol could prove a challenge.

As it appears there is no definition of ‘outlet’ and even though MICE gatherings are private undertakings – there remains concerns for a variety of licensees. Planners are cautioned with temporary licences in particular via a mobile bar facility as to whether the venue is in close proximity to an educational facility.

It begs the question where a venue (licensed or not) has been in existence prior to an educational facility being established, would the same legislation – in all its current vagueness – apply?

Without a doubt, the industry bodies such as Fedhasa and SATSA are monitoring the situation closely.

* Helen Brewer from The MICE Academy, is an independent contributor and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Planner.