DHL Stormers during a practice session pre-Covid-19. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency
DHL Stormers during a practice session pre-Covid-19. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Significant revenue loss and inactivity due to Covid-19 causing havoc for SA sport

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jun 24, 2020

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Cape Town - Sporting codes and bodies are struggling to stay afloat as the Covid-19 pandemic severely affects operating procedures.

Cape Town City spokesperson Julian Bailey said the Premier Soccer League (PSL) club still awaits feedback from the league as to the possible resumption and conclusion of the 2019/20 season.

The club faces a significant loss in sponsorship revenue, one of the most daunting challenges for the Cape side at this time, Bailey added.

“Sponsors have paid huge amounts of money to be part of our club but with us being out of action for the last three months, it’s become difficult to justify," he said.

“The players are currently training on their own, with the help of our fitness trainer via Zoom, but they have never spent this long without having actual football training - our off period is usually only six weeks.

"Our fans have paid for season tickets and spent money on merchandise for the season. It’s a very difficult situation for our players not to be able to play in front of them and give them the value they deserve,” Bailey said.

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa confirmed on Wednesday morning that local football can resume soon. 

SA Rugby spokesperson Rayaan Adriaanse added: “The Covid-19 pandemic is still rife in our country and the health and safety of South Africans remains the most important priority, which is why we continue to work with the government and all the various stakeholders.

"We have to ensure we handle the return-to-train (procedures) and eventually return-to-play (protocols) in the best possible way.”

Vee Moodley, chief executive of the National Horseracing Authority, said as many as 60000 jobs in the sector were at risk due to the pandemic and lockdown.

As many as 600 horses have also had to be euthanised due to financial constraints, Moodley added.

“The financial impact is monumental. There is a serious risk that the possible export market for this sector - in the region of about more than a billion rand - is at risk.

"Job losses and the sustainability of the industry is critical.”

In a statement, Mthethwa said the pandemic has caused a significant disruption to the local and international sporting industry.

He said organisations for both contact and non-contact sport must apply in writing on the date of the resumption of playing and training, and include all compliance matters as outlined in the Directions for Sport, Arts and Culture under the Disaster Management Act No 57 of 2002.

@TheCapeArgus

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Cape Argus

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