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Potential SA Legislative Impacts on MICE

According to The MICE Academy, two pieces of legislation that are currently being debated or promulgated in South Africa could have far-reaching impacts on two prime supplier niches in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry.

Staging & Production Moves Swiftly

The change-over from analog to digital has prompted ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) to re-allocate 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 Association) 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,” says Helen Brewer, Joint Managing Director of The MICE Acadamy.

Venues Watching Closely New Potential Liquor Constraints

Amended liquor laws 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 to be a challenge.

“There is no definition of ‘outlet’, and even though MICE gatherings are private undertakings, there remains concern 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 it’s current vagueness – apply?” says Brewer.

Doubtless industry bodies such as Fedhasa and SATSA are monitoring the situation closely.