Sports minister Mthethwa rubbishes talk of further opening up stadiums

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Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)
Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)
  • Sports, Arts, and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa says attempts to further open up sports stadiums are uninformed.
  • Sporting venues are allowed to have 2 000 fans in venues.
  • Rugby and cricket have exercised this, but soccer has been resistant to allow fans in.

Sports, Arts, and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has responded to claims of stadiums being opened further, saying they're uninformed.

Economic Freedom Front (EFF) commander-in-chief Julius Malema had last week called for stadiums to be opened further from the current 2 000 that's allowed by the Disaster Management Act (DMA).

Amendments to the DMA late last year allowed for 2 000 fans to go into stadiums, something that has been capitalised on by rugby and to a small extent, cricket.

Football has been reluctant to open up, with tickets for last year's MTN8 final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City at the Moses Mabhida Stadium being made available to select people and sponsors.

Both of Bafana Bafana's 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and Zimbabwe at the FNB Stadium also saw fans being allowed to attend.

However, there was public opprobrium to the number of attendees at political rallies in the lead-up to last year's local government elections.

Mthethwa said government is committed to opening up stadiums and discussions to that effect were already under way.

"Government is strongly committed to economic recovery and reconstruction and appreciates the re-opening of spaces such as stadia," Mthethwa said.

"Attention remains fixed on how access can be further extended without under-rating the real dangers of Covid-19.

"Discussions are already under way through cabinet processes to look at possibilities to further increase spectator numbers.

"And if this is successful, it will be communicated as was done previously."

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