Contact sports suspended with immediate effect – 19 May 2021

19 MAY 2021
The Council of Education Ministers has taken a decision to suspend all contact sports in schools with immediate effect. The decision was taken in a virtual meeting held this morning.
Non-contact sport training in schools can continue provided that all social distancing, hygiene and safety measures are observed and that there is no physical contact between participants during training.
In 2021, after the reopening of schools and consultations with education stakeholders, the DBE gazetted directions allowing non-contact sport, sports related activities and school-based art and cultural activities to resume without spectators, subject to adherence of safety measure.
Further, on 12th February 2012, Minister of Basic Education Mrs Angie Motshekga gazetted directions on school sports and extra mural activities, non-contact sport, sports related activities and school-based art and cultural activities to resume subject to health and safety protocols. During the last week of Term 1, school sports activity related COVID-19 outbreaks in Gauteng Province were reported and have been gradually increasing in Term 2.
It is evident that despite following the protocols as guided by the Directions on extramural activities and Standard Operating Procedure on the prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 in schools, contact sports events still contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
Following the school sports activities related COVID-19 outbreaks in Gauteng and general rise of cases in communities across the country, the Outbreak Response Team (ORT) said that the risk was high when engaged in close-contact sports, especially with people who did not live together.
In this regard, all sporting activities have been suspended with immediate effect until the clusters outbreak is subsequently over with no further cases reported including the preparatory school sport. The Department will continue to monitor the situation. A government gazette will be issued with the notice in the coming days.


  1. If we did not have such an incompetent government, things could have been better. They open school sports then suspend it again 2 months later. Probably the slowest when it comes to vaccinations with borders wide open. Countries like Australia and NZ are going full steam ahead.How long is this now going to carry on for?

  2. Covid is real, I get it. BUT so many boys depend on rugby to literally stay alive and healthy.
    No games, no practice. That means he must go home in afternoons and weekends to a place where there are no finances for food.
    Boredom kicks in, and they end up getting involved with alcohol and drugs.
    I wish people could see the effects in rural areas if there is no sport.
    Sport is literally their highlite of their day/weekend.

  3. @jakes: it is not going to end anytime soon my friend. This will be the new normal. It will either destroy the whole schooling setup in SA as we know it with sport playing a very big role, or we will need to live with it and treat it like flu. There are still thousands of people dying on the roads each day all over the world, it is not stopping,.but you dont see them removing all cars from all roads in every country. The show needs to go on. This has caused a lot of people to lose jobs, and families are crumbling because of all the restrictions around Covid. A schoolboy having a good rugby season could land him a full scholarship in SA University or abroad and save his parents millions,(if they were even able to afford it) or he could even get a professional contract. Lets not forget the Mapimpi story, how many kids will we lose if there is no more sport in schools. Grade 12 boy has now played his last decent season when he was 15/16 years old.

    This is very bad. Everything gets taken away from them.

    On the bright side, they can at least still go to a mall or movie or go share a smoke in a nightclub as those are still open.

  4. That document states 12 Feb 2012 , Holds no grounds they cant even type a media release correctly . The nightclubs and malls are full but the danger is on the rugby field. They are killing South African sport ! They should continue playing nothing is in affect before its in the gazette.

  5. @kantako: very well said. The mind boggles how they make certain decisions. There even seems to be ulterior motives behind these new decisions regarding contact sports in schools. It does not make sense.

  6. When a decision is made that impacts the lives of thousands of people, for an unspecified time, I would expect those experts (elected and not elected) making the decision, to provide the facts, figures, process & motivation for the many stakeholders to read and review.
    It is a critical part of holding officials accountable in the end.
    If you cannot be transparent about your decision making process, be open about who decided what, and take responsibility for your decisions, you have no place on a decision making forum and should resign.
    The DBE should not just teach children about Values In Action (Responsibility and Accountability as per the DBE website), they should show them by living those values.
    If the DBE cannot trust the public with the details, they cannot expect the public to trust their ability or motivation.

  7. How many rugby players tested positive? … just a question.

    At this stage of the pandemic the new normal should be for those who choose to continue with their lives to do so and manage the risk.
    Definitely not government and the Pretoria East “Groepie” to decide for them.

    Sorry boys!!

  8. After the results on Meadows today. I think GW would have rather received this letter yesterday and not today. Great to see the local schools playing each other again, only to be knocked out once again by COVID. Keep safe

  9. I just wonder if the blanket suspension was the right way to go. I guess it is based on a prevention is better than cure approach but it would have been beneficial if the situation in the various provinces could have been monitored indvidually and independent decisions made relevant to the circumstances in each province.

  10. What does everyone think, will we see more games this year or are we done till personality hoping for a third term restart but that’s a long shot, thoughts?

  11. @Running_Rugby1861: this year is done for in my opinion. Maybe if the government announces that play can continue with immediate effect after two weeks some games can be played but it is very unlikely.

    In the case where the situations will be similar to the restart this year where there will be an 8 week return to play action, the season is gone. We will be going into matric exams and cricket and athletics season etc etc, which will be unfair to those boys.

    Also I think that SARU will be holding thumbs that rugby and covid wont be mentioned in the same sentence to often before the Lions tour as they really need the tour to go ahead.

  12. @beet: There is some matter in what you’re saying. If you follow the daily increase in numbers closely, this is what you get per province for the previous 24h:

    EC – 125
    FS – 411
    Gaut – 1385
    KZN – 149
    Limp – 85
    Mpu – 196
    NC – 467
    NW – 366
    WC – 338

    Obviously one has to take the population density of each province into account, and thereby 4 provinces are particularly hard hit already – FS, Gaut, NC and NW. Also, if one compares the graph of over all daily increase to the previous wave, it resembles the early stages of the 2nd wave at the end of November/early December.

    For individual provinces EC, KZN, Limp and WC do not follow that pattern yet, so theoretically those provinces could continue playing. The NC is already exceeding what happened in Dec/Jan, with FS, Gaut, Mpu and NW showing the same pattern.

    Also take into account that across province competition to or from more seriously affected ones would not be advisable, which leaves a school like Grey Bloem high and dry.

    At least, that’s my view on the sitiation.

  13. @beet – What are the rules regarding club sport? Could a school form a club and play club fixtures?

    Jeppe and KES have Old Boy clubs/ societies. They could literally play as Jeppe Quandom versus KES Old Boys tomorrow rules permitting. The minister of education and the provincial MEC’s have no jurisdiction over club sport.

  14. @Tang: Theoretically its possible, if the schools are willing to go to that lenths is another matter ,it might be better if the unions organized an u19 league much like the freestate u 19 league that was played in 2018….

  15. @Strepie: I really don’t know, too many factors playng a role. The 2nd wave and it’s after effects lasted the best part of 2 months, and it took even longer for daily new cases to get under 1000.

    If we see something similar (I predict it will be less intense than 2nd wave, but it’s more hope than anything else), I don’t see SBR resuming within the next 2-3 months, which takes us to end of season sort of.

  16. Are boys allowed to practice from Monday eg, skill training and conditioning but no contact?
    Does anybody have a answer to this?

  17. @wika: easy peasy ,practice sessions at public facilities without the official involvement of the school ,in other words tackle rugby tussen die Eerste en Tweese span sonder enige afrigters

  18. Die skole moet miskien 4de en 2 de kwartaal se sportsoorte omruil. Doen krieket en atletiek (nie kontak) nou en dan kwartaal3 & 4 rugby en hokkie

  19. @Smallies: sover ek weet mag hulle non contact training doen. MAAR …eks nie bewus daarvan dat die nuwe reels alreeds gegazette is nie. Tegnies mqg seuns dus speel? Dit is nou as die nuwe reels nog nie in werking is nie.

  20. @BlouLou: Ek sit nou en dink ….wat keer die skole se eerste spanne om as clubspanne by hulle plaaslike rugbyclubs te afilieer,
    bv Klofies ,Halequins 018
    Garsies, Naka bulle O 18
    Grey, Old greys O18
    Boishaai en Gim ,Paarl Rugby club Noord en Suid o18
    Ens ens ens ….Club rugby mag voort gaan en die skole se eerstespanne sal at least dan kan jol

  21. @Tang: Age group club rugby has not been suspended so yes schoolboys may play club rugby.

    I just think if there is an attempt to play a club rugby match on school property involving teams made up of boys from that school, it will be deemed to be a school rugby match and fall foul of DBE regulations. So matches of this nature are best not held on fields not forming part of school property.

  22. @Smallies: Finances have become a major concern for any form of rugby outside of school. Any tournaments normal come with associated costs that unions cannot afford to pick up. Sponsorships are far harder to come by now due to crowd attendance restrictions. So for any new club or provincial matches over and above those that were already planned to go ahead will most likely be heavily dependent on school funding.

  23. @beet: the schools can use the budget they have already allocated for their first team costs and “make a donation ” to the clubs😂😂😂

  24. @Smallies: ons het sit onder van die ouers bespreek. Een van die 1ste span ouers is grootkop by Quins. Daar is ook probleme daarmee.

  25. Paarl Gim kan daaraan dink om ‘n Welbedacht klub te stig. Schalk Burger sr het ‘n volgrootte krieketveld, met klubhuis, op sy plaas. Dit kan maklik omskep word in ‘n rugbyveld.

  26. @Smallies: I agree with what you are saying. There is a short-term crisis on the go. The decisions made because of it impact heavily on schoolboy rugby. It affects the boys. It affects their families. It affects livelihoods of those who provide services related to SBR. Educators understand the importance of sport towards a well-balanced schooling experience. For all stakeholders there are ongoing question surrounding the decisions mainly due to the numerous contradictions in policies where potentially far more threatening aspects in society are ignored. But for schools there is also a long term to consider and pissing off the wrong people might cause more unwanted headaches down the line. Headaches that could go on for far longer than the virus lasts as an extreme actions required threat.

  27. @beet: yea unfortunately the vast majority of rugby playing schools are state schools and the the teachers and headmasters will definitely be targeted if they support this kind of thing ,private schools might be successful initially, however it takes just one positive test for all hell to break loose….I’m afraid that schools sport is yet again on the loosing side of some very badly thought out regulations and some very very incompetent political leaders….

  28. Mede rugby liefhebbers GLO MY HIERDIE jaar if 2 3 sal ook verby gaan ons as ouers ( van alle kinders) miet FOKUS om ons kinders sielkundig te ondersteun , is meer swaarven sleg as wat ons dink, maar sekere dinge is buite die mens se beheer.

  29. @Wondermaar: Dit gaan darem sover beter as verlede jaar,my dogter was laas jaar in matriek en die skool toe skool oòp skool toe besigheid het hulle gevang hoor ,op die ou end het sy gelukkig vinnig aanvaar dat haar matriek jaar nou maar is wat dit is en toe ernstig begin leer ,op die einde was matriek toe die beste akademiese jaar wat sy nog gehad het…

  30. @Smallies: daar word gehoop dat ons wel iets gaan sien lqter sie jaar. Dit sal rerig goed wees as hulle ophou met dom besluite wat heeltyd alles of niks besluite behels. Dalk gaan ons maar klub rugby speel einde van die seisoen weer (nie skool as klub opsie nie). Maar speel wil die manne speel. Hulle kanse wors net nou min dat die seuns wat later ontwikkel gesien gaan word.unies het mos hulle HPc gekies op o/15 en sukkel om nuwe talente te siene te kry.

  31. Honest question – do the coaches and administrators miss the banter as much as the parents do?
    Visit site daily daily, and NOTHING!


Leave a Reply