Music promoters bemoan new regulations timing

Seagile PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Seagile PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Local promoters have decried the timing of the latest regulations imposed by government meant to nip the spread of COVID-19. On Monday, the director of health services gazetted new regulations amidst surging COVID-19 cases following the discovery of a new variant, Omicron.

Significant among the regulations is the requirement of vaccine passports for people over the age of 18 years who will be attending mass gatherings as well as a P100,000 fine for contravening such regulations. The regulations came just days after Botswana Entertainment and Promoters Association (BEPA) said it had failed to agree with government on the issue of patrons providing proof to the host of mass gatherings.

In an interview BEPA president, Gilbert Seagile said they have no problems with the new regulations but are worried by the timing and lack of proper consultation by government. “We are simply arguing that the timing is not right because organisers are already past the planning stage for their events. It shows lack of strategic plan, and this will make implementation difficult. We needed time to prepare for these changes. They can be done but it is not going to be easy as we needed time to finalise the logistics,” said Seagile.

With a number of mass gathering events such as music festivals and picnics set to take place across the country, Seagile also said the new regulations could have a negative impact on the industry. Festivals such as The People’s Festival headlined by Makhadzi in Maun, Born & Raised in Serowe, Home Coming Concert in Mahalapye, Gaabo Motho and O Foo Ke Fano are some of the events, which usually attract multitudes. He said already many people have bought tickets for the upcoming entertainment events, and the requirement of passports could compromises attendance. However, he maintained that promoters are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that there is compliance with the regulations as per government's requirement. Some of the requirements of mass gathering under the regulations include keeping attendance register and taking of body temperatures of all attendants (those with temperatures of 37.4 degrees Celcius and above are not allowed).


Event hosts are required to provide hand sanitisation station for every 50 people and ensure that every person attending the event observes social distance of 1.5m apart from each other. The new regulations also require that for indoor events, there should be regular breaks of 30 minutes every two hours to allow for ventilation and disinfection of the premises. Hosts are also required to have a designated person for every 50 people to ensure adherence to protocols. In the event that the host or convener fails to adhere to the regulations his or her permit to hold such could be revoked and that person could be liable to a fine not exceeding P100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Editor's Comment
More resources needed to fight crime

The Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook page is always filled with sad complaints of hard working Batswana who were robbed at knife point at some traffic lights or at their home gates when trying to get inside.These thugs have no mercy; they do not just threaten victims, they are always ready to use knives, and sadly, they damage car windows. While this happens at different traffic lights, there are those where such incidents happen more frequently...

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