JOHANNESBURG - The fitness industry says government's decision to close gyms during the lockdown was irrational.
Gyms have finally been given the green light to open under level two.
Nearly 29,000 staff members in the industry were affected after more than a thousand gyms were shut countrywide.
Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo believes gyms should be an essential service.
She argues fitness clubs improve people's health, and therefore, reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
"When we talk about the whole definition it's not only about the disease but it's also about the physical health, the emotional, spiritual health and that's the definition of the World Health Organisation," said Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.
Mbombo was speaking at Planet Fitness in Brackenfell during her department's campaign to check the state of readiness of gyms in the province.
Fit SA's Grant Austin says the reopening of gyms has come just in time.
"I think if it had gone on until September human nature says that people would have started exercising next year," said Fit SA spokesperson Grant Austin.
"Lucky we were open in the nick of time and we feel very strongly that our industry is going to survive this and come back much stronger."
The fitness industry is worth R21-billion and has over two million members.
Gyms will now have to adhere to strict protocols to make sure they can remain in business.
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