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2020 Conference

Dear LIASA Members

Cancellation of LIASA Conference 2020

The Executive Committee in conjunction with the Representative Council, after careful consideration of the situation, announces with regret, the cancellation of the 2020 LIASA Conference. Constitutional obligations such as AGM and national elections will be dealt with in further consultation with yourselves, the LIASA Electoral Officer and related parties.

We all know that at present it is not business as usual and that the old way of doing things is forever gone. President Ramaphosa has shown exemplary leadership and has called on all of us to review our behaviours in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing is one of the key components of the fight against the virus - we have to observe spacing of 2 metres between ourselves and exercise stringent hygiene protocols.

LIASA Conferences are heavily dependent on external funding and on registrations. Without people, there is no conference. Without money, LIASA cannot host a conference. Neither of these can be determined but this information is needed now for appropriate planning. While the national lockdown has eased to alert level 4, South Africa has not reached the peak of infections projected to be between July and August which is too close to the planned conference time. The development of a vaccine is not on the horizon unlike the possibility of a second wave of infections in other countries that have passed their peak.

Conference is one of LIASA’s main income streams so this decision was not made lightly and budgetary implications require review. But we have no choice in this matter as we act to protect our members, their families and the country. LIASA cannot become a vector for the spread of the COVID-19 virus and be seen to be flouting common-sense approaches as made by many organisations that have cancelled 2020 annual professional gatherings such as IFLA, ALA and even the 2020 Olympic Games.

Discussions on alternatives to Conference such as local/branch programmes and other LIASA governance matters are underway and we will advise in due course.

Kind regards

Nikki Crowster
LIASA President

Cell:                +27 (0) 82 822 2120

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