On 22 April 2020 The National Horseracing Authority sent a comprehensive submission to the President of the Republic of South Africa, the National Coronavirus Command Council, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
This application set out reasons and motivations as to why the horseracing industry should be allowed to stage behind closed doors race meetings under Lockdown, based on the following principles that horseracing:
1. Poses a negligible threat to Public Health;
2. Can preserve jobs from the most vulnerable sectors of our society;
3. Can contribute to resurrecting our economy in a safe and controlled manner; and
4. Can mitigate against a major animal welfare crisis facing the industry.
The NHA received acknowledgement and has been advised that our application is being considered. Our Chief Executive is in constant contact with the relevant Government authorities. Late last night we were informed that our application should be escalated directly to the Ministers for consideration. This has been done earlier this morning.
Our understanding is that the Ministers and the National Coronavirus Command Council will be deliberating our submission over the next 48 hours and we are hoping for an outcome on or before the 30 April.
In the interim, the Racing Operators will perform all pre-race administrative work for the race meetings on 1st, 2nd and 3rd May subject to the positive outcome of our submission. A detailed ‘racing behind closed doors’ policy document is currently being drafted and shall be circulated later this week.
We understand the anxiousness, uncertainty and fluid nature of the current circumstances. Feedback on the outcome shall be disseminated as soon as we receive same. For now, our fate lies in the hands of the Government.
-NHRA Press Release