The Boxing Fraternity,
On the evening of Monday 23 March 2020, our State President, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa outlined escalated measures to decisively combat the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa. Part of these extraordinary and escalated measures included a decision by the National Coronavirus Command Council to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight of Thursday, 26 March 2020.
In setting the scene, the President observed that most South Africans understood the gravity of the situation imposed on us by this epidemic. He further acknowledged that when the first mitigation measures were outlined on 15 March 2020, most South Africans accepted restrictions and took responsibility for changing their behaviours.
As Boxing South Africa (BSA) we believe that the observation above, is more befitting and appropriate to our sector. In reality, the boxing sector has really been remarkable in response to the clarion call to combat Covid-19. We remained united and univocal in our utterances and actions. For that reason, we thank you all for your individual and collective efforts to mitigate the impact of this epidemic on us and the society at large.
In response to the escalated measures outlined by the President on 23 March 2020, BSA hereby further flags out the following key issues that apply specifically to the professional boxing sector:
The categories of people exempted from this lockdown does not include the boxing fraternity. It therefore means that we are not allowed to leave our homes except under strictly controlled circumstances such as to seek medical care, collect social grants, buy food, medicine and other essential supplies. We therefore urge all our licensees to act responsibly during this period and let no licensee be found breaking the law in the name of boxing. Let us exhibit that we are exemplary pugilists who will not risk to put the name of our noble sport into disrepute by being seen risking to go out for training or roadworks in violation of the 21 days lockdown directives.
Effective from Friday, 27 March 2020, the BSA personnel will be working remotely and thus the national office will be closed till 16 April 2020. The remote work plan will ensure that all our stakeholders continue to be serviced with minimal interruption but this applies only to urgent and unavoidable services. We do appeal for understanding in the event that any challenges beyond our control are experienced. During this period and within working hours, we may be contacted for urgent matters as follows:
We have received numerous enquiries regarding the licensing process. We note that the deadline for early license applications or renewals was 28 February 2020 with the final license application being 31 March 2020. We however note that majority of our licensees don’t seem to have renewed their licenses as at last week Monday when we issued out the first statement on measures to combat this epidemic. For that reason, as soon as we resume with normal run of business post this Coronavirus outbreak situation, we will issue a statement to outline a window of opportunity to either apply or renew licenses.
The nominations for the South Africa Boxing Awards 2019 was supposed to have gone out mid-March 2020 however this has been temporarily suspended. New timelines for the nomination process leading to the Boxing Awards 2019 will be issued in due course after resuming the normal run of business.
Preparations have been underway to host the National Boxing Convention 2020. What was to be the next step was the confirmation and announcement of the date and venue of this convention. In light of the current situation, the revised details of the convention shall be communicated in due course after resuming the normal run of business.
Most of our promoters have indicated to us that the current situation that we find ourselves in intercepted many advanced negotiations and/or commitments with various partners and sponsors. We value the work done by our promoters and appreciate that these efforts create competition opportunities for our boxers. For that reason, we advise all promoters to feel free to approach us for letters of confirmation from BSA that can reinforce their negotiations and pleas not to forfeit whatever progress and/or commitment they had already made with sponsors and partners.
BSA is mindful and considerate of the economic impact this period brings to our licensees. Reinforcing the efforts of our promoters to retain whatever sponsorship commitments already made is therefore one such example. Some of these would include, but not limited to, consideration to afford as much opportunity as possible to our boxers to have fights to an extent of being flexible with the maximum number of rounds during tournaments on a case by case basis after resuming the normal run of business.
Arising from our bilateral meeting with South African National Boxing Organisation (SANABO) interim national leadership on 24 March 2020, we are confident that the leadership of SANABO has firm plans in place to ensure that the impact of Covid-19 on the open boxing sector and its plans for Tokyo Olympics 2020 are mitigated. For further details on SANABO’s plans, the interim President, Mr. Siyabulela Mkwalo can be contacted telephonically on 072 250 7808 and on e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once more, we reiterate our words in our vocabulary, we understand all these measures taken by our leadership and our government to be made to ensure that, “we protect ourselves” and those around us. We must therefore be supportive as the boxing sector and play a role of solution providers and not trouble makers. Therefore, whilst we get creative in how we are going to continue training and maintaining fitness let us take care of ourselves and remain healthy and most importantly observe the call to “stay at home”.
Please note that these directives may change as further updates or instructions are released by Government and national sports and health authorities. For any enquiries please feel free to contact the Director of Operations, Ms. Cindy Nkomo as per details provided above herein.