Sporting enthusiasts have been anxiously awaiting news related to the resumption of sporting activity on lower levels of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
It looks like many disciplines will be getting some respite on the so-called “advanced” level 3 of the lockdown, with many sporting codes allowed to return to the field, albeit with plenty of precautions and requirements.
In his latest address to the nation, president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that non-contact sports like tennis, golf and cricket and horseracing would be allowed to resume.
This follows earlier announcements relating to level 3 of the lockdown, which pre-empted the return of some recreational sporting activities, like hunting and fishing, as well as training for all professional sporting codes, regardless of whether these are contact or non-contact.
Some amateur sports buffs have been left disappointed, though, with no sign of when they would be allowed to resume. Amateur surfers, for example, still aren’t allowed to take to the waves, due to specific concerns relating to the transmission of the coronavirus.
Answering questions from the media, Sports, Arts and Culture department director general Vusumusi Mkhize said that surfing was a “complex issue”.
“This issue of surfing, and water and the virus has been one of the very complex discussions based on scientific versions. There is a version of this virus thriving in cold environments and therefore then being a risk, that people, if they are a group swimming together and if it is a swimming games, there is a risk.
“But there are those who are saying that chlorine attacks and destroys the virus.
“On the other hand, the issue of surfing, because it is in open water, those are the issues we need to discuss for surfing,” Mkhize said.
Professional surfers are allowed to train on level 3 of the lockdown.
It remains to be seen when sports matches will be played again, but it is understood that all the country’s major sporting codes are getting measures in place for this eventuality, in order to be ready as soon as matches are allowed again.