DA calls for full reopening of sports and arts events

Please find an attached soundbite by Tsepo Mhlongo MP

As South Africa begins to emerge from the ANC-imposed hard lockdowns, the DA calls on the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa to reopen sporting events and arts and cultural events to full capacity.

The arts and culture industry has particularly been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic as many artists have lost their sole source of income during this time. Added to this, artists and athletes alike have received little to no support from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.

The restrictions relating to the National State of Disaster has had a severe impact on the sports and art sectors as many events were either cancelled or extremely limited in terms of audience/spectator attendance.

As other industries are returning to some form of normalcy, the sports and arts sectors are still hindered by tight and irrational lockdown regulations.

The DA urges the Minister to fully open up the arts and cultural sector so that artists can return to the stage, practice their craft, and provide for their families. We also advocate for the return of fans to stadiums, since this will help to revitalize the industry by allowing athletes to practise their discipline in front of fans for the first time in years.

We must strike a balance in our reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that while protecting lives is our first concern, we do everything we can to protect livelihoods.