The Coastal Jockeys Association has made formal representations to the department pf Sport, Arts and Culture after minister Nathi Mthethwa announced measures for a relief fund of R150 million to soften the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund is intended to assist artists, athletes, technical personnel and the core ecosystem that supports them.
Coastal Jockeys Association Chairman MJ Byleveld told the Sporting Post that jockeys were technically self-employed sportsman and they were not earning with racing currently suspended.
“It’s a very worrying situation. We are hopeful that we will be able to assist our members through the support of the Government. This is very new to all of us,”he added.
The criteria for accessing this support, the identification of beneficiaries and the mechanism through which the relief fund will be managed has now been finalised in consultation with South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Cultural & Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) for the different sectors.
Athletes who were confirmed to participate at events that have now been cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19, and whose income is generated solely through specific sporting events, will be eligible for relief.
Those eligible will need to provide proof that their events have been cancelled and their taxes must be in order.
Coaches and technical support personnel must work with athletes whose sporting events have been cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19, and make their earnings solely from these events. They too must have their tax matters in order.
Athletes on the Operation Excellence Programme (OPEX) are potential medalists earmarked for International Multi-coded events such as the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games etc, and the above conditions and criteria are applicable to them as well.
For sports, relief will only be availed to athletes, coaches, or technical support personnel after the date on which the cancelled or postponed event would have been held.
The Department said in a statement that it reserves the right to determine the quantum of relief based on the availability of resources.