Covid-19 lockdown: United Gyms takes govt to court in bid to get back on the treadmill | News24

Covid-19 lockdown: United Gyms takes govt to court in bid to get back on the treadmill | News24

Gym.

Gym.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

  • United Gyms and Fitness Facilities is the latest organisation to haul government to court over lockdown regulations – it wants gyms reopened.
  • It has argued that gyms are dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises which employ around 29 000 people.
  • According to United Gyms, about 15 000 people have lost their income and ability to support themselves.

United Gyms and Fitness Facilities is taking government to court in a desperate bid to have gyms and fitness centres reopened during the lockdown.

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

Rudolph van der Westhuizen, chairperson of United Gyms, filed an urgent interim court application, asking the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town to order President Cyril Ramaphosa and several other ministers to temporarily include gyms (health and fitness clubs) in the amended regulations under Level 3, 2 and 1 of the national lockdown, as well as to reopen the facilities under strict health protocols.

Ramaphosa, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, the National Coronavirus Command Council and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize are listed as respondents.

In his founding affidavit, Van der Westhuizen argues that there are 1 036 gyms in South Africa, and other suppliers of goods and services that depend on them.

About three million people use gym facilities, while the industry injects approximately R21.8 billion per year into the economy.

READ MORE | Safely re-opening gyms: Lockdown might be doing more harm than good

Van der Westhuizen argued that gyms were dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises which employ about 29 000 people, supporting a wide range of secondary industries involved in supplies and services to gyms.

He said, should these employees be retrenched, another R250 million to R300 million in claims could be added to the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s monthly bill.

He also argued that gyms attracted much-needed traffic to shopping centres and malls.

“A vast majority of the industry workers are parents who support their children from day to day. The prohibition on their services has arbitrarily, and without warning, cut them off from earning a livelihood, not only for themselves but also those dependent on them,” he said.

Van der Westhuizen said that, within a matter of weeks, an estimated 15 000 people lost their income and ability to support themselves.

“Many of the people in the industry have by now lost all access to any kind of money in order to survive. VA and Planet will confirm they are about to start large scale retrenchments on July 1. They (gyms) are unable to pay their rent or meet financial obligations and most urgent of all, they are running dangerously low on the ability to feed themselves and their dependents,” he said.

Government is yet to file responding papers.


Stay healthy and entertained during the national lockdown. Sign up for our Lockdown Living newsletter. Sign up and manage your newsletters in the new News24 app by clicking on the Profile tab

Read More

About No Specific Author

No Specific Author

Check Also

Florida sets grim death toll record, while trailer truck outside funeral home raises COVID-19 fears

Florida sets grim death toll record, while trailer truck outside funeral home raises COVID-19 fears

Florida set another grim record Tuesday with nearly 200 more COVID-19 deaths recorded overnight, but in recent days an ominous sight outside a funeral home has been sending a shiver through a Miami-area town –- a refrigerated trailer for storing bodies.Rumors that the corpses of coronavirus victims were being stored there -- and unfounded fears…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.