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Jockeys Approach Government

No racing means no pay for jocks

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.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa

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.

Read MJ’s interview here

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.

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53 comments on “Jockeys Approach Government

  1. Aidan Joffrey says:

    I am self employed. Jockeys have no business expenses except insurance, petrol, phone, travel, crop and saddle. Of all self employed citizens jockeys have the least exposure for losses on a expense level. All other self employed businesses are suffering more than jockeys. I am furious.

    It gives me great pleasure to know that 99% of jockeys do not have their taxes in order a will not achieve what they want. FACT: Jockeys do not pay or charge VAT on their services
    FACT: the Coastal Jockeys Association is not registered with the Receiver.

    When last did we hear of any Jockey giving back to horse racing. I am beyond irritated with this attitude of entitlement from the jockeys while there are millions living below the breadline and have it worse than them.

    1. Editor says:

      Aidan, are you not making assumptions?
      What about living expenses?
      How do you know about their tax affairs?
      The Government made the announcement – they are surely entitled, like any sportsman, to apply for assistance?

  2. debbie says:

    im beyond irritated now with that remark who are you to assume. They have families to support based on there income no ride no pay get of your high horse Aiden. they have cars bonds just like any other person dont get a guaranteed salary they have to ride ley me say that again ride for every cent paid to them. do you even know what it takes to be s jockey know the facts before you assume

  3. Jonathan Harris says:

    Aiden. You have clearly not engaged your brain before putting finger to keyboard, have you? Thats sad, as you don’t appear to be totally stupid. What gves you the right to lambast them for applying for assistance from a specific relief package? Is their not one for you too?
    FACT. They are sportspersons who have been affected badly
    FACT. Besides the expenses you mention, they have other living expenses too. Bonds, utilities food …shall.i continue? You conveniently exclude this…is this by design?
    FACT. YOU have no idea what their tax compliant status is. Or do you really? Inside info? Who is the remaining 1%…can he apply? Insulting and I hope they can sue you!
    FACT. There is always someone worse off than another.

    Have you been tested lately….for verbal diarrhea.

  4. Aidan Joffrey says:

    Hi Editor,

    I am making some assumptions.

    I excluded personal expenses in my statement as we all have personal expenses. I only dealt with business expenses.

    I know about their tax affairs because jockeys provide a service that is taxable. All jockeys earning over the maximum threshold should be VAT invoicing Gold Circle and Phumelela for their basic riding and earnings. They do not. They have received 15% more than they should a Gold Circle and Phumelela should be claiming back the VAT which does not happen.

    The Coastal Jockeys Association is not registered as a taxpayer. All the jockeys know this.

    Ask MJ to comment.

    All jockeys are entitled to apply. I will be surprised that these superstar earners will get anything even if they can show their taxes are in order. The deserved and needy should get first.

  5. Kevin says:

    Wonder if Aidan is actually involved in the sport of kings. Without the “jocks” there would be no racing. Taking nothing away from the rest of the industries. Maybe he should check his facts before he makes comments like he has.

  6. racing fan says:


    Jockeys like MJ and Greg Cheyne fly to PE and pay for the flights. It’s called travel
    expenses and a business expense in the creation of income. My assumption
    is that you have a grudge against jockeys for a few horsy bets that did not go your way.😢

  7. Rocky says:

    I really hope you don’t have horses that need to feed your hobby

  8. rashaad says:

    racing future in south Africa
    hi guys I have a small cut make and trim business ( 24) staff members we are looking at being off work for at least 4 months until the internationals arrive at our airports and at the moment only 5 of my staff qualifies for uif kick back this is reality back to my main topic my suggestion to racing is that a trainer should be restricted to lets say 80 horses per top stable this will then enable a bigger pool of horses for the medium to smaller trainers this scenario is similar to world soccer where in each top league 3–4 clubs dominate the league every year because the others do not have the capital to compete restriction along this line will ensure the racing game does not fall into a hole
    thank you

  9. Rod Mattheyse says:

    I wonder why Aiden would think the riding fee as currently paid/levied includes VAT? The stakes commission is Zero rated. The riding fee comes from the stakes pot, so it can be argued that this is also zero rated. However should the riding fee not be zero rated then the small number of Jocks who ride more than 900 ( 6 jocks based on 2018/2019 season)or so races a year would then levy vat on top of that which the operator would claim back – net zero position for SARS.

    I would be surprised if there was not a directive of some sorts in place.

  10. Cecil Pienaar says:

    ” Fact : Jockeys do not pay or charge Vat on their services”

    ” They have received 15% more than they should…. ”

    Mr Joffrey, I hope you have a good accountant doing your taxes, vat etc …

    You clearly know very little about it …

    I hope the PP reads this, she couldn’t get tax info on one person, you have tax info on all our Super Star Jocks 🤔

  11. Denny says:

    Aiden has no clue what we have to go through to survive not just financially but putting our bodies on the life. But it’s a sport we love and know ,some of us had to leave our beloved 🇿🇦 To make life else where, he is a keyboard ⌨️ ninja let him runt ! My thoughts and prayers to my fellow jockeys 🏇🏿 during these though times. God Speed Mj and the members

  12. Cecil Pienaar says:

    ” Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things – if you make the tiniest mistake, you can find yourself in terrible trouble “

  13. Leon Lotz says:

    I must not read the sportingpost again.From a James Bond financial means trainer who wants all trainers,owners and breeders to be inspected on their finances to this brain dead Aiden.Ek wens ek kon vir jou in boere afrikaans se hoe oulik jy is

    1. Editor says:

      Leon, your discretion is appreciated!
      Thanks for contributing – it is valued.

  14. Jay August says:

    Rashaad, while your solution sounds plausible and feasible it is not.

    You assume owners will retain the horses they are forced to share amongst trainers in order to adhere to an 80 horse limit. This will not happen and many owners will exit or reduce their ownership as a result of such an arbitrary rule, which will create additional problems.

    One of the worst mistakes policy makers can make at this time is to impose solutions which induce inflexibility to a problem that requires extreme flexibility to solve. The horse racing industry in South Africa needs innovation and flexibility to survive, not arbitrary rules which are not well thought out.

    Good luck with your business. These are trying times.

  15. Siva says:

    Sad comments Aiden.These guys have a challenging life.
    Nice to hear Jessica Slack has given a 1 billion donation.Wheres the donations from some of the owners I know that fleeced the state coffers.

  16. gavin says:

    the jockies are insured for loss of income ..surely they can claim from their insurers ..

  17. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Se vir hom Leon….

    Last one Mr Joffrey – this lock down is tough for many people. It’s also a time where we need our friends !

    I hope your 2 friends don’t read your posts 🤔

  18. Aidan Joffrey says:

    Rod Mattheyse knows his stuff. He is the only one who has made statements that used his brains.

    Jockeys are are not employed by Gold Circle and Phumelela. They are independent contractors. Owners and trainers do not pay jockeys any form of remuneration.

    The net stakes earned by owners is zero rated. The amounts for trainers 7%, jockeys 10% and grooms 1% are deducted from the gross stake earned by Gold Circle and Phumelela.

    Putting trainers and grooms on the side for the moment, Jockeys earn two forms of remuneration.
    A. A basic riding fee
    B.10% of the stake earned by the horse

    Jockeys are running their own businesses and are providing a service. If they meet the threshold they are obliged to be VAT registered and partake in input and output provisions.

    Gold Circle and Phumelela have paid the VAT. They have not claimed it as the jockeys have not registered for VAT or sent out VAT invoices. The amounts are substantial. It will help the cash flow of Gold Circle and Phumelela during these trying times. They should be able to claim back from Revenue the VAT amounts paid to the jockeys and leave it up to Revenue to claim from the jockeys.

    If I was Revenue, I would be first knocking on the door of Leon Lotz.

    Why haven’t MJ and the Coastal Jockeys Association come out of hiding and set out why I am wrong.

    Good day.

  19. George Spelvin says:

    Aidan Joffrey has the quintessential smell of an intellectual tyrant who in a time of crisis has snitch as his guiding principle. Odd how such people pop out of the door frame at such a time. Getting back at foes and settling scores is the worst instinct which comes to the fore at such times.

  20. Mike says:

    Wrong ….not no jockey no racing ….no OWNER no racing

  21. Jonathan Harris says:

    Aiden. You compliment Rod, yet refuse to actually heed what he is saying. Read it until you get it!
    Also, according to his calculations only 6 jocks in the period he mentions is actually over the threshold.

    You have too much time on your hands.

  22. Pops says:

    When jockeys get 60 day,90 day 21 day forced holidays is there a fund they can claim from to keep them ticking over?

  23. Leon Lotz says:

    Aidan revenue is seker belasting,die tax man, my vriend lyk my jy moet bietjie skottelgoed was of n paar situps en pushups doen .Daar is hulp vir ouens wat aan erge depressie ly tydens die lockdown.Bel jou naaste healthcare en los die jokkies uit.

  24. Eric Fordred says:

    Gavin Jockeys are insured for illness and injury, only, and with a 30 day waiting period, which means they would need to be off for two months before receiving their first payment, which would be at the end of the second month.

  25. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Aiden there are so many errors in your statements but let me highlight a few:

    Jockeys are most certainly not employed by the Operators – the operators merely facilitate the payment as they are the central point of collection.

    The owners pay the jockeys via 2 mechanisms the race riding fee and the share of the stakes both of which come out of the stakes pot. The stakes pot is the owners share of revenue.

    Your statement on share of stakes is also incorrect. Gold circle trainers get 9% of all stakes, some association gets 1% the grooms get 1% most Jockeys get 10% of wins and 7% of places. Apprentices get 7% of the win and I’m not sure of the place as I have not had an alppy ride a place for me in long while. The jockey academy also takes a large chunk of the apples share and the money is paid directly to them.

    Phumelela trainers get 10% of all stakes courtesy of larry and there was supposed to be some kind of credit from the trainers for the additional 3% of place stakes by the trainers. That was never going to happen as you can imagine the admin nightmare for trainers.

    Kenilworth racing the trainers get 10% wins and 7% places.

    I will be very surprised if these mechanisms have not been worked through with SARS and Operators as well as each units auditors.

  26. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Gavin the jockeys insurance is to cover themselves if they are injured – I don’t think no racing would trigger those policies.

  27. Loren D says:

    Reading this article and the comments posted I fee as though I have watched a lit match become a raging fire. The article is the fuel while Mr Joffery is the insignificant match. Everyone who has posted on this forum has thrown in something to help the fire grow out of hand. It has fascinated me that the jockeys who hold the water and fire horses to put out the fire have continued let the fire rage on. It’s time to put the fire out. If not by the jockeys, it must be by Mr Joffery and everyone else by doing nothing further.

  28. MJ says:

    Jockeys have Domestic Workers.
    They have families
    Jockeys have Agents .
    The Agents have Domestic workers .
    They have families
    Jockeys have Kit Valors .
    They have families.
    Yes , Jockeys have Home Loans
    Yes , Jockeys have vehicle payments .
    This chain goes from A-Z .
    From the young Groom , to the Mighty Mike De Kock .
    From an Apprentice to Lanfrako Dettori .
    From a Stable Lad to our Dynasty of Owners .
    Yes, Jockeys are in the Glamorous Spotlight .
    For those who know will understand.
    As an Apprentice, these are and were some of my friends .
    Conrad Wilkinson
    Warren Bailey
    Paul Vermaak
    Gerrit Viljoen
    My Senoirs
    Clive Basel
    Barty Leisher
    Douglas Rope
    Craig Maqua
    The list goes on . For those who dont know these names .
    You will never understand

    I’m not even mentioning Jockeys dedication to the Scale .
    This is not a time for Ego .
    Jockeys are a part of our Magical Industry . We all need each other . No need for random opinions
    Right Now.
    Be Safe . Stand Together, yet apart .
    Right now , let’s care for each other . Let’s care about lives . Help where you can . Pray for everyone.
    May God be with us . We going to need it .
    Love and Respect to all.
    MJ Odendaal

  29. Praga says:

    So if jockeys were to be compensated,how would this work? Based on the earnings of the previous year or current standings or straight up package allround.

  30. Frederik Kuun says:

    Most of the jockeys are very wealthy people so I don’t think they would struggle financially through this period now.

    1. Editor says:

      Isn’t this a perception< Frederik?

  31. Rian says:

    Do all jockeys have domestics and agents and kit valors????
    When you say you won’t understand, who are you referring to??
    Did Mr Bon craft these posts as they are similar
    Take care

    1. Editor says:

      Andrew was assisting MJ Odendaal, who is not a regular poster

  32. James George says:

    MJ have you not got certain jockey’s names wrong?

  33. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Frederick says most jockeys are wealthy – I would say that most is not the right choice of word especially when it comes to jockeys and wealth

  34. Anand Chetty says:

    If you have credit insurance on your home loans, car, credit card etc these, to my knowledge, will kick in.
    Also banks are allowing payment holidays.
    Jockeys, like everybody else, are going to find this period tough.
    Don’t be critical of their requests for assistance

  35. Mister G . says:

    So , while this toff is being played out , no one has mentioned Owners and what is going to be done in the way of assisting them or ate they just expected to suck it up ?!! Are the incentives given by Phumelela to trainers filter down to Owners ? Are the Vets and Farriers going to reduce their fees ?!! Racing is in diabolical trouble and unless everyone pulls together , when this situation returns to some form of normality there will be a lot less Owners !! Just think of the Dominoe effect !!😷😢🐎

  36. Louis Goosen says:

    Jocks deserve to be compensated from the fund. They have every right to apply for said compensation. Simple.

  37. Joao says:

    The reality is the worldwide human crisis is bringing out the best and worst in mankind. What i would really like to see is if someone needs help they should apply. If someone can provide help they should offer. No one should take unless they need to and everyone should give because its the right thing to do.

    South Africa brace yourselves. You are worrying about mortgages and credit card bills and racing starting again. This virus spreads super fast and has a very high rate of infection. I would start worrying about burying the bodies. I would start worrying about how the whole worlds recovers from this both economically and mentally.

    The splitting of ranks within our sport (and others) is pathetic.

    I so wish Professor Jordan Peterson was healthy enough to start addressing the world during this crisis.

    But I know one of the things he would have said is fact.

    WE all of us as a species have far far more in common than not and we need to start behaving like that.

  38. Pieta says:

    And how else Louis?

  39. Kriek says:

    Over the past few months i read alot of stories of our puntes paying jocks and trainers, grooms salaries. The punters contribution is now non excisting during lockdown!
    I think its only fair that these three entities are being allowed to find financial means to support there families and the industry so that punters can enjoy racing again after lockdown.
    Leave the jocks alone, racing cant do without them
    My prayers are with trainers, jocks, owners and grooms in the difficult time

  40. Cecil Pienaar says:

    More Pieta, vra jy wie anders ? Mense, soos die Grooms miskien. Ek persoonlik hoop iemand kyk uit bit hulle ook.

  41. Pops says:

    Should all jockeys be compensated from the fund,Mr. Goosen?

  42. AJ The Jet Plane says:

    The only winners in horseracing are jockeys, trainers and a few others employed in the industry.

    Very little is felt for the owner and even less so for punter.

    Riding fees haven’t decreased.
    Training fees haven’t decreased.
    Tell me something that has decreased and will continue to decrease?

    Pity the industry is as divided as it has ever been and a real testament of what you see in every day life.

    The rich (more powerful jockey and trainers) only get richer.

    A brief breakdown,
    Had in excess of 480 mounts and amassed stakes of R5.8 million.

    A nice average salary of +R70k.
    Riding twice a week.

    Then we get onto the topic of work?
    How often do these top guys ride work?
    Spoonfed is an understatement.

    Has MJ spared a thought for the countless number of jockeys that slave away for very little reward?

    What he is now experiencing, temporarily, is a reality for many of his ‘colleagues’.

    A fast-becoming toxic industry run by narcissists.

  43. Gman says:

    Good one AJ.Jockeys choosing one horse over the other and the stable jockey plays second fiddle to the so called top jocks.You don’t have to mention names we see this on a regular basis.What do these horses have in common?Hawwaam,Do it again,Rainbow bridge,One world,Legal Eagle.

  44. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Gman, impressive list of top horses. I think the answer is multiple Gr1 winners 🤔

  45. Ravi says:

    To the 3rd writer/comment on this very interesting post (Jonathan) and the rest of us herein. Fact: Everyone has been affected in some way by this pandemic… Badly and not so badly. Many, if not all South Africans, wealthy, poor, transient and the incarcerated have had their lives turned upside. So let’s not make assumptions or generalize on the situation we are all facing together. The entire world is sitting on tenterhooks and as such economies are ravaged. The current battles we face and the fallout from this virus will be felt for a long time, and may take years to collate. If individuals or businesses need a helping hand so be it, if families or collected living quarters need a helping hand so be it… Etc. Etc… The list is exhaustive. Therefore if jockeys and trainers need a helping hand… So be it. We are all going through this together. No one is exempt from the trauma the current crisis has brought to each of our doorsteps. Right now as we all make unnecessary comments there are dialogues taking place on whether the country should look at a further lock down measure i. e. Extension of the current 21 days. What impact would an extension have on all our lives and the South African economy, horse racing included if the government decides that the 21 days are not enough to flatten the curve. So please guys, our problems are far from over. Let’s be cautious when we put thoughts into words.

  46. Michael Jacobs says:

    I think we are all going to start appreciating the simple things we have in life which are actually the most important- a job, health, family and food.

    That includes our jockeys. They might think twice in future about cancelling a meeting because of a few drops of rain, or a patch of grass not quite as green as it could be. I fully support that they should be included in any emergency funding, they are employees and workers after all like all of us. But i do hope that they appreciate their jobs and that when they feel like cancelling a meeting at the drop of a raindrop, they think twice. Overseas jockeys ride in sleet and snow, the jump jockeys are fearless, riding in the heart of the British winter, so I hope our softies man up, and remember this time when they were forced to not ride or earn a living!

  47. Speedyvar says:

    Michael Jacobs,some friendly advice,start running for the hills NOW.

  48. Gman says:

    Grade 1 winners yes, but 1 jockey rode them all and chose the one above the other and the stable jockeys(apart from RB) where left with the spoils.All different trainers.I think that was one of the points AJ was making(correct me if Im wrong AJ) which I totally agree with.

  49. Stewart says:

    Please teach Mr Kuun to use gallop.Sherman Brown 31st on the national log earns a teachers salary after tax etc.If thats his understanding wealth then we have a few hundred thousand wealthy teachers in RSA.what a joke.

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