Tue, 28 April 2020

Here is a statement just released by Surfing South Africa that requests "surfers to stand behind the Government and comply with the regulations, as inconvenient as this may be".

brent-ninaber-L6EP96 w1Fc-unsplash

WHO IS AT THE TABLE? SSA says they don't have enough members. Photo Nienaber / Unsplash

Surfing South Africa LogoThe Board of Surfing South Africa fully supports the Government of South Africa at this difficult time.

The measures implemented to try and mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 virus pandemic on all of us living in South Africa reflects the actions necessary as recommended by scientific advice from world leaders in pandemic medicine.

These actions negatively affect the lives of everyone and, although inconvenient, are necessary in order to retain focus on the primary objective, which is protecting the health of society and flattening the curve so that those who do contract the virus have the best possible chance of appropriate medical attention.

The country is currently in Level 5 lockdown and from 1 May will be on Level 4 lockdown. Certain parts of the country might revert back to Level 5 if their numbers of infections and fatalities increase dramatically. Currently citizens are restricted from leaving their homes unless for specific reasons such as essential shopping, collection of medicines or visiting a doctor.

Exercise is restricted to within the boundaries of one’s place of residence. Beaches are closed. No activity may take place on the beaches of South Africa. This currently includes any access to the ocean via the coastline including rocks etc.Surfing is one of 75 sporting codes recognised by SASCOC, the Olympic governing body for sport in South Africa. Given that surfing is only actively represented in sufficient Provinces to meet the minimum criteria for recognition, surfing is classified as a minor sport. Given the diversity of sporting codes, specific criteria relating to individual sports is not practical at this time.

Our views, opinions and recommendations would carry significantly more weight if our membership reflected the majority as opposed to the minority of those who surf.From a membership perspective, the number of paid up members represented by Surfing South Africa is also relatively small, although Surfing South Africa, as the recognised controlling body for surfing in South Africa, recognises that it has a role to play in the overall interests of surfing. Our views, opinions and recommendations would carry significantly more weight if our membership reflected the majority as opposed to the minority of those who surf. With this in mind, Surfing South Africa believes that at this time, until there is further clarity with regards to the ability of citizens to partake in their respective sports, the top down regulations should be complied with and surfers are accordingly encouraged to comply.

Until such a time as one is allowed to move around under a broader scope of permitted activities and the beaches are open, our request is for surfers to not attempt to surf in breach of the regulations. It would be a real pity if a blanket ban on surfing was implemented because a minority refused to comply with the regulations.

Surfing South Africa distances itself from the petitions currently in circulation as some contain factual inaccuracies and others reflect self-interest opinions that we at Surfing South Africa do not believe represent the opinions or the interests of the majority of surfers.

Surfing South Africa has in the last week made representations on behalf of surfing and other ocean users to both the government and SASCOC through the recommended channels. Once greater clarity is available or there are structured processes through which the interests of the various sporting bodies can be motivated, Surfing South Africa will, again, respond accordingly.

Until such time, our request is that surfers stand behind the Government and comply with the regulations, as inconvenient as this may be. The more everyone cooperates, the sooner the lockdown will be relaxed and we can all get back to practicing the sport that we are all so passionate about.

We encourage surfers to join their district surfing associations listed on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za to strengthen our voice.


+1 #7 Naha!!Frewuigi 2020-05-04 13:20
Thats very responsible and well .However if the public is allowed to run /ride/walk in the street why cant people surf in the ocean ? It really is a stupid ,illogical nazi rule .I will not obey .KilltheCultureofFear.
Conrad Begg
-1 #6 MrConrad Begg 2020-05-04 10:04
Hi Ian,
There are two very powerful reasons why NOT to surf right now.
It's about respecting fellow human beings.
Some of the regulations might seem "unfair" but all of us need to show that we respect the decisions made by govt. If surfers don't respect the regulations then why should anyone else. Calling it "posturing" is short sighted - any decision that assists in saving lives is a good idea. Having a quick selfish surf certainly doesn't trump the need for all of us to show respect and restraint during this time. Finally, not towing the line during phase 4 will very quickly see us back at phase 5 which means the economy tanks even more and with that comes further unemployment and suffering.
0 #5 wtfwtf 2020-04-30 13:42
You don't represent me or the vast majority of surfers. So if you want to be a grovelling bootlicker do it in your own name.
Ian Macduff
+1 #4 personIan Macduff 2020-04-30 10:28
If anyone could give surfers one good reason why they should not be able to surf at their home breaks, it would be easier to comply. There isn't one, of course. All this kind of authoritarian posturing does is undermine whatever other measures have been put in place that do make sense, social distancing, hygiene, etc. This heavy handedness is not not just counterproductive, it is, in a word, stupid. It MUST be resisted. Surfers, go surf your spot.
Michael Billson
+1 #3 surfingMichael Billson 2020-04-29 14:26
absolutely stupid if you ask me and i respect your option - if you have a home and far from the maddening crow that is not in anyway impacting others and you should be allowed in the water - you obviously not looking at the news
+3 #2 BleatPatrick 2020-04-29 06:48
They should change their name to "Smurfing South Africa" like good little sheep.
Grant William Baker
0 #1 MrGrant William Baker 2020-04-28 21:10
Keep us informed.
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