South Africa: Level 3 Regulations Edge SA Sports Federations to the Brink

analysis

The continued suspension of amateur non-contact sports under South Africa's Level 3 lockdown regulations has pushed the sporting industry closer to the brink of collapse.

The golf industry, which is the biggest sporting employer in South Africa, providing livelihoods for 40,000 people at its facilities alone, is weeks away from an irreversible disaster if the lockdown regulations stay as they are.

Last Thursday's announcement by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma that non-contact professional sports could resume from 1 June, when the country goes to Level 3, was met with incredulity by most sporting federations.

Limiting non-contact sports to professional status only, is like throwing one lifejacket to a sinking ship with hundreds of people on board.

Organised amateur sport is the lifeblood of the industry in South Africa. Professional sport only makes up a tiny percentage of participants and without amateur competitions, leagues and tournaments that bring in affiliation, competition and event income, the sector is unsustainable.

Professional sport is the tip of a giant pyramid and its return, when done in isolation to the rest of the industry, has almost zero benefit for sports federations at all. Golf, as the largest industry, has been hardest...

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