MEDIA STATEMENT: DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT’S MEASURES TO STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
Following the World Health Organisation’s declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, President Ramaphosa’s declaring it a national disaster and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation’s advisories recommending that all sport competitions and tournaments be cancelled or postponed until further notice and various cultural events cancelled as gatherings of 100 people is now prohibited, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport has put measures in place to stop its spread as impacts will be far reaching.
In our department’s attempts to help stop the spread of Covid-19, the department has taken the following decision:
As of Friday, 20 March 2020, the following facilities will be closed to members of the public:
- The Archives reading room will be closed. Researchers can still send through email or telephonic requests for assistance.
- Museums affiliated to the department will be closed. All affiliated museum events, educational, public and outreach programmes will be cancelled unless specifically approved. Museums are encouraged to use this period to focus on fostering an online presence to provide access to services as far as possible via websites, Facebook, Youtube etc. Despite the crises, our vision is still to create a socially inclusive, creative, active and connected Western Cape. Furthermore the South African Museum Association (SAMA) has also taken note of many museums that closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SAMA supports these efforts to slow down the pandemic and recommend that all museums should be closed at least until the end of Easter.
- Cultural Facilities will be closed.
- Heritage Western Cape remains open for applications but encourages members of the public to make applications electronically and engage with their offices via email rather than coming into the building.
To assist with keeping residents’ safe the Western Cape Government has called on sport stakeholders to:
- Cancel all public sporting events until further notice
- Cancel all federation and club sporting events which involve contact between communities and sports people
- Cancel all after school MOD and Neighbourhood School activities until schools re-open
We are proposing the window created by these cancellations is used to:
- Strengthen the governance and administration of sporting bodies
- Develop resources to support residents to improve self-directed engagements in sporting activities
Minister Anroux Marais said, “These decisions were not taken lightly and affect us all, but in the best interest of all those we serve had to be implemented to encourage social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. History has shown time and again: through the many struggles nations and humanity as a whole have experienced together, the arts, sport, recreation and cultural affairs have been the shared reprieve restoring hope, and inspirational motivation to move towards our common goals to overcome hardships together. We are fully aware of the increasing concerns that exist but as the Western Cape Government, we are working around the clock on developing and updating as many FAQs as possible and our priority is to keep you informed with verified information. Finally, we encourage people to stay healthy, fit and to utilize outside spaces to continue exercising and where possible to rather engage our department via email or telephonically to reduce physical contact at the Protea Assurance Head Office building. Let’s work together to stop the spread”.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Situation Update:
According to the latest update provided by the IOC on 3 March 2020, preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games continues as scheduled. Athlete health and well-being remain a top priority for organisers, and extensive measures are in place to ensure that effective countermeasures against infectious diseases are implemented for the Games. A joint task force was created in mid-February, involving the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and WHO. There is a multi-institutional approach to defining guidelines and best practice to ensure athlete and spectator safety. The IOC will keep supporting the athletes by providing the latest information and developments, which are accessible for athletes worldwide on the Athlete365 website, https://www.olympic.org/athlete365/
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171