The DA note reports that the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) is said to have presented government with a plan to allow for the safe return of sports fans to stadiums. We call on Minister Nathi Mthethwa to bring this plan to Parliament and present it to the portfolio committee of Sports, Arts and Culture for their scrutiny.
The plan comes amid the growing number of calls by a variety of sporting bodies for fans to be allowed back into stadiums, and is said to have been drafted by a committee set up by Sascoc comprising stakeholders from a variety of sporting codes.
Fans in stadiums play an important role in sports: they bring revenue to clubs, which then enables them to meet their own commitments. Others in the sports value chain, such as stadium vendors and suppliers have all also incurred huge financial losses. The closure of stadiums has caused irreparable damages to both lives and livelihoods.
However, many fans will naturally be concerned about the safety of attending matches in stadiums. Any plan for reopening of stadiums must include comprehensive measures to mitigate the risks of spreading Covid – without placing unreasonable restrictions on people’s ability to earn their livelihood in the sports value chain.
By bringing Sascoc’s plan to Parliament for scrutiny, the Minister will have an opportunity to do what no other Minister has done during the past year of Disaster Management rule: allow Parliamentary oversight over the plans of the Executive. He will also be taking an important step toward striking a healthy balance between saving lives as well as livelihoods.
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