On 21st October, the City of Joburg JOC (Joint Operations Committee) which manages event compliance for the Johannesburg Metropolitan area published COVID-19 protocols for the City. These protocols reiterate that ALL events staged within the City of Johannesburg under Alert Level 1 are subject to JOC compliance and COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols and that any planned event may only be staged once presented and supported by the City’s Events JOC and meet the requirements of the South African Sports & Recreational Events Act (SASREA).
The events and gatherings covered within the City of Joburg JOC protocols apply to venue owners, churches gatherings, conferences, meetings, political and social events.
The protocols issued refer to the Regulations based on no more than 500 attendees outdoors and 250 indoors but were unclear which events were required to apply for an event compliance certificate to hold your event. The SA Event Council requested clarity on this and the City of Johannesburg agreed to meet with representatives of the SA Events Council to clarify aspects on the protocols.
The City JOC clarified that an EMS Safety Department Application is required for any event in the City and an Event Safety Plan is required to be presented to the City JOC. They confirmed that all events, meetings and all conferences with an attendance capacity of, or exceeding, a 50 person capacity threshold are required to apply for an event permit.
All event managers/organisers involved in the planning of events are required to submit an application to the City EMS Fire Safety Department and submit site layouts/floor plans for approval to the department prior to launching or advertising their event. Once the layout is stamped and approved, a booking needs to be made to present the Event Safety Plan to the City JOC. This is done by completing the form available on the Joburg City website or requesting from firstname.lastname@example.org notifying the Events Management office of their proposed event no later than 14 days prior to the event.
Included in the submission every event, meeting or conference is required to provide an event-specific COVID-19 Management Plan as well as a COVID-19 Compliance Officer appointment over and above the Event Safety Officer appointment in line with SASREA. The City JOC sits on a Thursday by appointment only to assess presented JOC Packs (or on a Monday by special permission) for all venues including approved-of fit-for use conference and meeting venues.
The City through the EMS Fire Safety Department will then conduct a site inspection to ensure that general Health and Safety standards and compliance for COVID protocols are being met.
Once EMS has approved plans and provided inspections and the venue and event organiser can demonstrate compliance, the event will be granted permission to go-ahead. The City is open to fit-for use-small venues being allowed to continue based on approved plans and confirmed compliance without future JOC submissions but only on a case-by-case basis as the City wants to ensure that every events venue in the City is ensuring compliance against the regulations and various Directions issued by Government
An SAPS Risk Categorisation application to SAPS Prov as per SASREA will run concurrently with the City JOC process.
Along with the above, it is critical that compliance on all events includes:
- The display of venue capacity (at Level 1, venues may only host a 50% capacity capped at 250 pax indoors and 500 outdoors)
- Taking of temperatures on entry and health surveillance screening prior to entry
- Track and trace written protocols
- The wearing of masks at all times
- Adherence to cleaning and sanitising regulations
- Social distancing of 1.5 metres between persons at all times
Non-compliant events will be closed down and a docket may be opened by South African Police Services (SAPS), for non-compliance to the Regulations, various Directions as well as the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act No.2 of 2010.
In light of the above, it is crucial for all event managers/organisers involved in the planning of events within the City of Johannesburg to comply with requirements and procedures as set out by the City of Johannesburg JOC. This is for the purpose of endorsement by relevant authorities, including the recent published series of National directives that update the country’s lockdown rules in a number of areas, including the opening of borders, sports and religious gatherings.
– Joint Statement issued by the City of Johannesburg and SA Events Council