Gyms employ 29 000 South Africans. They’re taking to the streets in desperation

76 days ago

It’s been nearly five months since South Africa went into lockdown, wiping out millions of jobs.

We’ve seen the restaurant and tourism industries protest – and the unprovoked, violent response of the police.

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On Tuesday, the entertainment and eventing industries campaigned, calling on the government to ease lockdown regulations so they can return to doing business.

The fitness industry – lead by FitSA - is another sector desperate to emerge from the lockdown – it will demonstrate on Wednesday against the continued closure of gyms.

About 29 000 people in South Africa are directly employed in gyms.

Pippa Hudson interviewed Grant Austin, spokesperson for FitSA.

Hundreds of Yoga and Pilates studios have also been affected really badly…

Grant Austin, spokesperson - FitSA

People started to get gatvol [to train online] … I find it hard to train at home… It’s not just about exercise, it’s also about interacting…

Grant Austin, spokesperson - FitSA

… 88% of people we surveyed [gym members] said they would feel safer in gyms than in malls. 82% of non-members that were surveyed said they would like to join [a gym] …

Grant Austin, spokesperson - FitSA

Less than 5% of our members are older than 60… We have a 29-page set of world-class safety protocols… We’re used to sanitising. We can social distance quite easily by placing equipment out of order. We want to get back!

Grant Austin, spokesperson - FitSA

We have a court date set for 19 August… It’s the only date we can give our landlords and banks and members…

Grant Austin, spokesperson - FitSA

Diabetes, hypertension, obesity… our gyms can help solve that.

Grant Austin, spokesperson - FitSA

Listen to the interview in the audio below.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Gyms employ 29 000 South Africans. They’re taking to the streets in desperation



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