Leisure pursuits in South Africa as observed during the COVID-19 pandemic
Young, Marié E.M.
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This paper aims to present the leisure pursuits in South Africa as observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the world was hit by the pandemic as early as January 2020, South Africa recorded its first case on 5 March 2020. A five-stage lockdown was introduced to flatten the curve and prepare the heath system during the first level. Lockdown regulations were severe, with restricted movement only for essential services. The extreme lockdown measures had a visible impact on the leisure and tourism industry. Small businesses were devastated by the financial hardship and job losses have contributed to the already high level of unemployment and social-economic inequalities among citizens. Observations for this study were based on what people shared on social and popular media, including discussions with friends and family. The pandemic forced many people to revisit how they live, work and play. People change and adapt their leisure pursuits to fit the situation they find themselves in. Technology was embraced to connect with others and to pursue leisure activities. The future of leisure and recreation practices post-COVID-19 is not clear and will change indefinitely. The social and economic impact on the industry has been vast and will be far reaching.