Football fans are not willing to take the Covid-19 jab for whatever reason, be it religious, cultural, or traditional, notwithstanding the vaccination facilities provided outside match venues, must not attempt going to stadiums because they will be disappointed.
Millions of South Africans remain unvaccinated, judging by the official figures from the government that show only 30% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.
The government has made provisions for the return of spectators after the lifting of the National State of Disaster regulations, although at only 50% capacity for outdoor venues as per Covid-19 health and safety regulations.
Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) MD Bertie Grobbler said this week that football supporters’ full vaccination status or the production of a
negative PCR test certificate goes hand-in-hand withhaving a ticket.
“If you don’t have those documents, it’s like you don’t have a ticket,” said Grobbler.
“We ask fans to vaccinate but [the bottom line] is that we will enforce the regulations through security personnel and those who don’t comply will be removed from the competitions area.”
SMSA are the managers of stadiums around Gauteng such as the FNB “Calabash”, Orlando, Rand and Dobsonville stadiums.
Grobbler urged spectators to ensure they carry all the documents required for entry to matches, including a valid match ticket, ID or licence card and a vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours.
And with inflation as well the cost of living soaring in the country, comes an increase in the price of match tickets from R40 to R70.
“In the lead up to the new season, we had extensive discussions with Kaizer Chiefs as a club to ensure a greater fan and stadium experience,” explained Grobbler.
“That entailed opening more gates, access points, and a new ticketing system that we investigated and implemented, then we were hit by Covid regulations. And that is an additional layer of security, checking and redesigning of access.
“It necessitated an increase [in the price of tickets] for the club to cover the costing of all these additional add-ons,” said Grobbler.
“This weekend, the fixture is going to be run at a loss. We need to marry the two.
“If you take the 8 000 tickets sold in a normal attendance, with 2 000 as complimentary, it leaves you with R240 000 to cover the costs. That is inclusive of [metro police], security, medical and [emergency services] requirements – it’s not electricity for the floodlights, stadium staff and personnel, so the price of R40 is no longer viable.”
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