Royal Show numbers 7,2% down

2013-06-19 00:00

CELEBRATIONS and tragedy made this year’s Royal Show, which had an attendance of more than 140 000 fans, one for the history books.

Terry Strachan, the CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society yesterday released a statement saying the 2013 Royal Show was “tragically marred by its first death of a guest in its 163-year history — this involved a six-year-old child”, Simphiwe Mbense.

“The incident took place in the funfair — allegedly the result of the youngster extricating himself from a ride in motion. While the technical and SAPS investigations are completed, the findings of the formal inquest are still awaited.”

Strachan said the total Royal Show attendance was 142 451, 7,2% down on the 153 451 visitors in 2012, and said this was “almost certainly the result of the down-turn in the economy”.

He said the commercial side of the show hosted in excess of 450 exhibitors.

Strachan said 22 000 people had attended the Ukhozi FM concert on the final day of the show.

“While such numbers are daunting, the largely family-oriented audience had an enjoyable day and no incidents were reported.

“Having said this, the tendency in recent years for people not attending the concert to gather outside the grounds along Chatterton Road — ostensibly to hold private parties — continues to cause headaches for the SAPS and the traffic authorities.

“The SAPS reported that the 2013 Royal Show was undoubtedly the most crime-free in recent years, with only eight incidents being reported, relating primarily to the opportunist theft of handbags, cellphones and laptops.”

He said some aspects will require attention in 2014 and beyond.

“For the third time in 20 years, a cow broke loose from the cattle stalls and entered the main body of the showgrounds, causing an element of panic on the part of the public.”

“Five people sustained scratches and abrasions, and one a broken arm, as a result of trips and falls while hastily moving out of the way. In future, permanent barriers [of the type traditionally used on school days] will have to be erected.”

He said while the show continues to attract vast numbers of youngsters — especially school groups attending on the Wednesday and Thursday — in many cases there is inadequate supervision that needs to be addressed.

He also highlighted parking headaches at times and disappointment at some of the demonstrations.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.