The Sunshine Tour will pay a monthly stipend to its member professionals, and on a scale according to their various categories of membership, for the months of April and May 2020.
The news was announced on Thursday as the local tour aims to throw its weight behind President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for social solidarity from all South Africans in the fight against Covid-19.
In an unprecedented move in South African pro golf, a comprehensive financial relief programme for South African men’s and women’s professional golf was confirmed.
The Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA), in partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour, announced a similar financial programme for the top 25 South African professionals on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.
The Sunshine Tour also committed to paying a monthly stipend for April and May 2020 to all the caddies who are registered with the South African Caddie Association and who have been active in the 2019-20 Sunshine Tour season.
This is to assist them in meeting their financial obligations at a time when professional golf worldwide has been suspended because of Covid-19. The Sunshine Tour, in accordance with world golf, has already suspended all its activities as of 16 March 2020.
The executive and staff of the Sunshine Tour, as well as the executive of GolfRSA and the WPGA, have also agreed to a voluntary salary reduction, based on what is affordable to each staff member, for the months of April and May 2020.
‘As our President has stated, these are extraordinary times for our country, and they require an extraordinary response from all South Africans,’ said Sunshine tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan.
‘Our board has fully endorsed and approved this financial plan for our members, and those of the WPGA and the Sunshine Ladies Tour, as we believe wholeheartedly that this is the right course of action to support our membership base in a manner and on a level that will ensure the longevity of our Tours and help our members through these trying times.
‘I would like to thank GolfRSA and the WPGA for the solidarity they have shown in this regard, and also say a special thank you to all the staff of the various Tours for the financial sacrifice they are willing to make in what are clearly very difficult and uncertain times for them as well.
‘South African professional golf is a very close family, and as such we will stick together in times of crisis. To quote our President, “Our success relies on the effort and energies of every citizen and their commitment to help assist others.” As the South African golf family, we are united in making this commitment.’