Resumption of Chess Activities in Chess South Africa as a Non-contact Sport

Dear Council Members and District Chess Associations,


The Directions on the “Resumption of Activities of Non-contact Sport” gazetted on 11 June 2020 and the amendments to these Directions published on 06 July 2020, bear reference.  

Herewith the Executive Board of Chess South Africa would like to inform all Council Members that the Board has complied with the deadline of 26 June 2020 set in the Directions and have submitted a detailed application to resume the activities of Chess South Africa as stipulated in the Directions published on 11 June 2020. 

In this regard please find attached the detailed COVID-19 Operational Plan the Board submitted to Minister Mthethwa for consideration and approval. The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has responded that they have received the application and they have also indicated the shortcomings in the application. The Board, subsequently, remedied the shortcomings and resubmitted the application. The amended application and the responses received from the Department are attached for your careful consideration. 

It is important for all Members of Chess South Africa and their respective affiliated structures to note the following:

  1. Even though the Board submitted the application within the required deadline, Minister Mthethwa has NOT YET granted approval that Chess South Africa can resume activities as a non-contact sport as per the Directions published on 11 June 2020;
  2. As it has been indicated in the mentioned Directions, it is imperative to note that in the event that a provincial, district or club chess structure resumes any physical chess tournament or chess event WITHOUT the approval of the Minister, it is tantamount to a violation of the Directions and Regulations published in the Government Gazette on 11 June 2020. This is a criminal offence and all chess structures operating under the auspices of Chess South Africa are informed to NOT RESUME any physical chess tournament, physical group coaching sessions, physical training sessions of officials or face-to-face meetings WITHOUT the approval by Minister. This approval will be send immediately to all chess structures upon its receipt by the Board if such approval is granted;
  3. In its application to resume activities Chess South Africa has proposed to the Minister to resume duties as from 01 August 2020;
  4. Before this can happen all the prevention protocols and procedures specified in the attached Chess South Africa COVID-19 Operational Plan, must have been adhered to;
  5. In the interaction between the Board and the Department, in particular with the Deputy Director General for Sport, she clearly indicated that provinces and districts MUST take individual responsibility for resuming chess activities in their area of jurisdiction and this must be clearly indicated in their own COVID-19 Operational Plans and also in the Operational Plan of Chess South Africa;
  6. In this regard all provincial, district and club structures must:
    • Comply with all provisions of the attached Chess South Africa COVID-19 Operational Plan;
    • Submit a provincial COVID-19 Operational Plan by the deadline indicated in the Chess South Africa COVID-19 Operational Plan to the COVID-19 Compliance Officer of Chess South Africa (Ms. Liezel Ahjum);
    • Appoint, in writing, COVID-19 Compliance Officers for each province and district;
  7. The Board will, upon receipt of approval from Minister Mthethwa, arrange various virtual training sessions to prepare relevant provincial/district officials for the different responsibilities identified in the mentioned COVID-19 Operational Plan as this was a requirement in the Directions;
  8. For this purpose the virtual platform of MS Teams will be used and provinces/districts should familiarise themselves with this platform. Attached is a Chess South Africa Guide on how to use this platform.
  9. Regional administrators, in particular, will have to form part of compulsory virtual training sessions before they are able to register a tournament; 
  10. Regional administrators will not be able to register a tournament with Chess South Africa or FIDE unless tournament organisers have complied with all the necessary requirements in the gazetted Directions, Government Regulations on the State of Disaster, the provisions on the attached Chess South Africa COVID-19 Operational Plan and their own COVID-19 Operational Plans;
  11. Chess activity in any area declared as a COVID-19 hot spot are not allowed to resume irrespective of whether approval was granted by Minister Mthethwa;
  12. The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture reserves the right to deploy officials to monitor compliance to the indicated documents in point 9 above;
  13. Due to the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013, Section 5.6 of the attached COVID-19 Operational Plan of Chess South Africa has been removed due to personal information of support staff. 

The following documents have been attached for your careful consideration and implementation:

  1. Amendment of Directions issued in terms of Regulation 4(10) of the Regulations made under Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act no.57 of 2002): Suspension of sport, arts and cultural events as measures to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 (11 June 2020);
  2. Amendment of Directions issued in terms of Regulation 4(10) of the Regulations made under Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act no.57 of 2002): Allowing sporting events, training and matches to resume, including opening of libraries, museums, cinemas, theatres, galleries and archives in compliance with measures to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 (06 July 2020);
  3. The COVID-19 Operational Plan of Chess South Africa (Amended);
  4. Comments from DSAC on the initial COVID-19 Operational Plan submitted by Chess South Africa;
  5. Comments from the Director General of DSAC, Mr. Vusumuzi Mkhize;
  6. Chess South Africa Virtual Guide on the use of MS Teams

Conclusion: Provincial and district chess structures should urgently start to compile their own COVID-19 Operational Plans for submission on 24 July 2020 to Chess South Africa in the event that they would like to resume chess activities in their area of jurisdiction once the required approval from Minister Mthethwa has been received. 

It is of utmost importance for all Members of Chess South Africa including chess players, technical and administration officials, any private individual and stakeholders involved in the sporting code of chess to be very much aware of the fact that all these role players have the responsibility to ensure that collectively and uniformly the risk of spreading the virus is prevented and all should, therefore, adhere to the guidelines in all of the above indicated documents

Enquiries with regards to the content of this email should be directed to Chess South Africa.

Kind Regards
Ms. Liezel Ahjum (Prof. GISc Prac 1262/SA)
General Secretary
Executive Board of Chess South Africa
Cell: +27823088089

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