- GolfRSA will seek legal advice after the country's Alert Levels 3 and 4 lockdown regulations were deemed unconstitutional and invalid.
- Amateur golf is the lifeblood of the sport in the country and there are fears clubs would go under if the sport isn't permitted soon.
- Golf is a R48 billion per annum industry.
GolfRSA has responded to the recent Gauteng High Court ruling which declared the country's Alert Levels 3 and 4 lockdown regulations unconstitutional and invalid.
GolfRSA, the unified body of the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and Women's Golf South Africa (WGSA), released a statement on Thursday saying it was exploring all legal routes in light of the court ruling.
"GolfRSA, in conjunction with all the golf bodies, is taking action and legal advice to ascertain the repercussions the ruling holds in terms of the ongoing discussions between GolfRSA and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture," the statement read.
Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa said over the weekend that professional golf could resume under Alert Level 3, but no amateur golf was allowed.
Amateur golf is the lifeblood of the sport in the country and there are fears clubs would go under if the sport isn't permitted soon.
The Gauteng High Court suspended the declaration of invalidity of the regulations for 14 business days, meaning that the current Alert Level 3 regulations remain in effect until 24 June 2020, unless Mthethwa amends the regulations.
The GolfRSA statement continued: "It is not clear whether the ruling impacts the positive progress we have made in our consultation with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture - or not. But once we have a better understanding of our position, we intend to take the appropriate action to ensure that our bid to re-open the golf industry at Level 3 remains on track.
"The ruling casts legal uncertainty over the country’s regulations at a time when Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to rise. However, we remain firm and committed to our position that we can return to golf safely."
GolfRSA, however, reiterated that its golf facilities were ready to comence.
"We have been hard at work since the start of the lockdown to put Covid-19 protocols in place. We are prepared for the return of golf in line with our comprehensive Risk Mitigation Strategy for golf facilities, which adheres to all the demands of the government’s health regulations.
"In addition to the Best Practice Protocols in place, GolfRSA has purchased the advanced version of HealthDocs App, which will ensure that all golf clubs and facilities address the Covid-19 compliance regulations in terms of digital screening, monitoring, tracking and recording of all staff and golfers who enter a facility.
"We firmly believe we are on the right path and we are intent on seeing this process through. But we will consider every other option available to us. This is vital, as only through the return of golfers to the courses can we save the clubs, resuscitate the R48 billion (per annum) golf industry and mitigate significant job losses amongst the more than 40 000 people directly employed."
- Compiled by Sport24 staff