11 May 2020
TO: Affiliate Presidents Affiliate Secretaries
CC: SSA Executive Committee Members Committee Convenors
RE: CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) – UPDATE 3
The Lock Down announced by the President of our country on 16 March 2020 has severely affected our federation and has grind to halt our entire structures. The 6000 plus Learn to Swim Schools, clubs, SSA elite squads and the administration of the federation as well is under huge strain. Our sport is a labour intensive sport and our ability to fund our operations, throughout our districts, provinces and nationally is largely funded by our members’ registration fees. The arrival of the Corona Virus has economically effected our Learn to Swim Schools, Coaches ability to earn a living and our athletes to prepare adequately and to earn endorsements.
To this the sports movement as a collective, have made representation to the ministry on the backdrop that the UIF and COIDA will be utilized to provide registered employer/employees with some relief. We went further requesting the minister to consider loss of income for the employed in the sports industry. The minister has responded with an Arts, Culture and Sport relief fund of ZAR 150m. The minister requested SSA through SASCOC to be part of the establishment of a War Room, to consolidate operational loss and mapped a process for athletes to apply for funding. Noting the need for our athletes and the federation to receive support, we have requested a meeting with the ministry. This meeting has been granted, and we are awaiting a firm date to engage with the department of Sports and Recreation.
In addition, we have sent the ministry an agenda to address the following aspects based on the Level Four Regulation issued by government:
- The reintegration, of swimming disciplines and utilization of safe fully compliant hygienic environments for elite athletes to engage in exercise just as cyclers, runners etc. are allowed. The High Performance Team as put together an excellent document in this regard for discussion with the department.
- Align the SSA Learn to swim activities with the education sector, as the teaching of the life skill of swimming is closely associated with the sector, with the same hygiene principles applying to swim schools.
- SSA as a federation, who is highly depended on gala entry fees, capitation fees athletes and affiliate registration fees to meet its operational expenses is in a crisis because of no activity and seek urgent relief and support from the ministry.
Swimming South Africa has since re-admission to world sport won the most medals and we are very proud of the contribution we have made to our country. We are however afraid with events such as the Olympics, Senior World and Junior Championships, Senior and Junior Continental Championships, a few months away and our inability to fund our entire operation such performances may be out of our reach.
We appealled to our ministry, in this very difficult economic environment to invest in Swimming for us to contribute in make every South African proud arising from the ashes of COVID 19.
We at the federation are doing our utmost to make sure the interest of our members and our principals support that of the federation. We are have faith our lives will return to normality soon.
Alan A Fritz
Swimming South Africa