WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
WEST COAST CHEQUE HANDOVER: PIKETBERG
14 SEPTEMBER 2020
Good day, goeiemore, molweni nonke,
It is indeed an absolute joy and pleasure to join you in Piketberg this afternoon as we now navigate to and through our new norm in the Cultural Affairs and Sport sector.
It is no secret that we are in a severely constrained fiscal environment, faced with trying times, firstly with the global health pandemic of COVID-19 and the second pandemic of unemployment while experiencing a humanitarian relief crisis, all at the same time.
However, as 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.
With the already diminishing public funds available, adding further injury to an open wound, our main budget was decreased to financially support our provincial COVID-19 response and having had to surrender much of the National Conditional Grants, we are even more committed to enabling a socially inclusive, active and connected Western Cape through sport and recreation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has engulfed the world and has not only had a profound effect on public health, society and the economy, but has also inflicted mayhem on the sport & recreation sector. To curb the spread of the virus, professional and amateur leagues across the world had been suspended indefinitely on advice from their respective governments to avoid large numbers of persons gathering in one particular venue.
Economically, the sector has suffered with many events having been cancelled. Approximately 30 events across the province have been cancelled inclusive of conditional grants and federation funded events. Provincial major sporting events, which boost our local economies have also been severely impacted as events such as the Knysna Oyster Festival, the Two Oceans Marathon and now also the Cape Town HSBC Sevens Tournament to name a few, have had to be cancelled. Provincial Trials for the Winter Games, Indigenous Games, Golden Games and leagues & festival support for Club Development have also been adversely impacted as these events will also not be taking place this year as scheduled.
However, despite it all, over the last months we have been through so much. We have changed the way we live, how we say hello and even how we sport and practice recreation. As many restrictions have now been relaxed and as we head into the recovery phase, we can now safely move forward in the Western Cape and get to work as the task ahead of us is great, but together, we will conquer, as we have time and again.
We are therefore, happy to present R610 000 to the West Coast District Sport federations to empower affiliated federations and clubs with funds needed to again administer, develop and host capacity building workshops as we together forge our new norm in the sector.
In a dismal national fiscal environment, adopting a Whole of Society Approach inculcating collaborative efforts through sustainable partnerships is much needed to achieve our mutual goals to enable safe and connected communities.
As the trusted partner of our sport and cultural stakeholders, those affecting dynamic change in behavioural trends at grassroots level are our most valued partners and we remain committed to empowering them and the various structures through innovative assistance and interventions as the need and demand transpires. Under the visionary leadership of Premier Alan Winde, the Western Cape Government firmly believes that innovation is always on the agenda and I look forward to collaboratively embracing new ideas and always doing the right thing with competent integrity, always mindful of all those we serve.
With the above in mind, we have a responsibility to protect the well-being of sport federations and recreation entities and will not hesitate to take a safety-first approach to our operations over the coming months. We will continue monitoring the situation, and we are committed to work with our partners in ensuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sport federations, recreation entities, affected events and programmes will be minimized to ensure sustainability of the sector.
By transferring the equitable share funds, it is hoped that federations and affiliated clubs are able to commence some of their very significant activities in the province because while we are to be physically distanced, in the Western Cape, we are still socially connected through sport and recreation and ready to move forward and to do so safely.
I thank you.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171