Sports fans around the country are ecstatic after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that more fans will be allowed back in stadiums.
The president announced that outdoor venues will be able to take up to 50% capacity. This announcement will come as a welcomed relief to sports fans who want to be back in stadiums, cheering on their favourite teams.
Ramaphosa said, “The approach going forward is that both indoor and outdoor venues can now take up to 50% of their capacity provided that the criteria for entrance are proof of vaccination or a Covid test not older than 72 hours”.
Last year, The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma gazetted the amendment to the National State of Disaster which allowed only 2 000 people to attend events at outdoor venues. However, some sporting bodies still did not allow spectators back in stadiums.
It's been a long road for sports fans since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Initially, all sporting events in the country were cancelled when the pandemic hit South African shores around two years ago.
When they returned, sports events had to operate under strict Covid-19 protocols and fans were not allowed to attend matches. This not only impacted the revenue generated by sports teams and stadium managers but also impacted the player's mentally.
Springbok rugby legend Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira explained how much support from fans can help players.
He said, “the scene is set when you come out on the field and you play against your opponent and your fans are behind you screaming and shouting in support, it just gives you that extra edge and [it's] something that has been thoroughly missed by the players”.