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MBABANE - Are some event organisers treated unfairly?

This is an assertion made by some event organisers and support staff in the country who have felt the wrath of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic’s restrictions as their sector was one of the most affected during the coronavirus era. Some organisers from Manzini (who have preferred to remain anonymous) feel they are treated unfairly as they claim that their events are always cancelled or interfered with by authorities while those who are hosting in the Ezulwini/Mbabane corridors are left unsupervised to host shows as they like.  

“It has been brought to our attention that event hosts seem to be doing as they please outside the Manzini region. We know that the two hours and 100 people set by government aren’t happening in some of these hotspots. It is funny though how we, in Manzini, adhere to these covid-19 regulations, but our spots are the first to be shut down!” said the source. This comes after Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku eased the covid-19 regulations for the entertainment sector where he announced that a maximum of 100 people could attend arts activities at any given point.

The activities include theatre, comedy shows, poetry shows, fashion shows, small-scale choral music, small-scale music concerts, small-scale launches, cinemas as well as museums and art galleries. The announcement comes after a prolonged dark period of seven months in the entertainment sector when a continuous ban on public gatherings was put into effect in March last year to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Masuku highlighted that inspectors would be sent to the events to ensure compliance as those that will not comply would be banned from continuing with activities.


He also shared some set conditions that the events would abide by and operate under, which included hosting events at a venue that has applied for and received an Entertainment Activity Hosting Compliance Certificate (EAHCC) from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs through the Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture (ENCAC). “Host artists and venues should appoint adequately trained compliance officers, who will ensure that all participants are screened at entry,” he said. The guidelines also include placement of multiple sanitisation or handwashing facilities at the venue as well as ensuring that a two-metre social distancing measure is observed.

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