SA event technicians to march in #FlightcaseMovement
Tuesday, 1 September 2020
newzroom-afrika-interviewNewzroom Afrika interviews Kagiso Moima Wa Masimini of #flightcasemovement
South Africa - South African technical companies, technical crew and freelance technicians have initiated the Flightcase Movement – a campaign to hand-deliver a memorandum of demands to the country’s Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) on 8 September (next Tuesday).
The aim of the movement is to enable the resumption of live events whilst maintaining social distancing by following protocols set out by the Event Safety Council.
The action will take place in Pretoria, with business owners, technicians and freelancers in the live events industry meeting at Paul Kruger Statue in church Square at 9am. They will push 250 flight cases to the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture building, where a memorandum will be handed over at noon. Campaigners will be dressed in black with full PPE including masks, gloves, safety shoes and hard hats.
The South African live events industry has been shut down since 27 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Campaigners say there are at least 700 independent freelancers who have had no government assistance and no work during this period, their only help coming from a single food voucher of R500 donated by Feed Our Crew, an NGO created by technicians working within the industry.
Meanwhile, technical rental companies, of which there are hundreds across the country, have had to either temporarily lay off staff, lay off staff permanently, re-trench or embark on a total shutdown of operation.
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa relaxed some of the restrictions on gatherings in August, but gatherings of more than 50 people remain prohibited – and campaigners say it is not viable for any company to try and cater for small events.
During August, the industry raised awareness of its difficult plight through #LightSARed - a campaign initiated by the Technical Production and Services Association and Southern African Communications Industries Association. The action saw hundreds of buildings across the country illuminated in red and was finally met with a response from the government, with campaigners stating that they had made “significant headway” with those in power to devise a strategy for the industry’s survival.
(Jim Evans)

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