Dear fellow golfer,
This afternoon, Thursday 30 April 2020, a delegation representing South African golf met with the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, via video conference call in order to present a proposal from the South African golf industry, and to seek guidance and advice from the Minister and his team for the safe reopening of golf facilities.
The delegation included the CEO of GolfRSA Grant Hepburn, the Chief Executive of the PGA of South Africa Ivano Ficalbi and Chris van der Merwe, Chairman of the Club Management Association of Southern Africa (CMASA).
The primary focus of the presentation to the Minister was to outline how the golf industry understands the need to comply fully with a Risk Mitigation Strategy when facilities are reopened. Golf currently has strict measures in place for the basic care and maintenance of golf facilities under Level 5 and, as was outlined in the proposal, we have aligned ourselves with the government’s Risk Adjusted Strategy and Regulations at every level of lockdown.
The core of the presentation for a safe return to golf focused on the urgent need to save thousands of jobs on all levels, but particularly among the most vulnerable section of the workforce, which includes caddies, labourers, waitrons and casual staff.
Further discussions included a strategy to repurpose this vulnerable work force when golf facilities are reopened.
The Minister congratulated South African golf on a well-crafted proposal and made special mention of the attention paid to risk mitigation and the need to save jobs, particularly those of the most vulnerable. The significant economic contribution that golf makes to the economy was also noted.
Based on the approach taken by South African golf, the Minister undertook to review the presentation with his staff before submitting it to the National Coronavirus Command Council. We will be notified within a relatively short period of time when the proposal will be tabled at the Council. Once this has occurred, we will receive guidance regarding the steps that will need to take place before golf facilities may be re-opened in accordance with the regulations.
Chief Executive Officer – GolfRSA
CHRIS VAN DER MERWE
Chairman of the Club Management Association of Southern Africa (CMASA)
Chief Executive – PGA of South Africa