Home South African Mthethwa approves reopening of cinemas, theatres, museums and libraries

Mthethwa approves reopening of cinemas, theatres, museums and libraries


Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa approves new regulations for arts and cultural spaces

File picture: Eric Gaillard / Reuters

ARTS and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has approved the reopening of cinemas, theatres, museums, libraries, galleries and archive centres.

Mthethwa said these sectors may resume operations provided that they were ready to comply with the compliance measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

The decision was taken following Mthethwa’s consultation with Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The approvals have been gazetted.

The sectors may resume operations but can only allow 50 or fewer people into a given venue. All other measures include compliance with social distancing and hygiene measures which include wearing masks, deep cleaning and sanitising of customers.

Cinemas, theatres and arts and cultural spaces overall may operate, provided that only 50 people or less are allowed, in compliance with health safety protocols. Some of Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s directions include the limitation of operating hours, as per the amended standard operational procedure, the provision of limited service and limited contact, a limitation on the number of people visiting a space at any given time; but to mention a few.

“It is important to note that all arts and cultural institutions must submit their plans to the Minister in writing, in accordance with the outlined processes and protocols, within 14 days of the publication of these Directions,” the Department of Arts and Culture said on Tuesday. 

The reopening of these sectors under Level 3 followed the government’s decision to open other sectors which included restaurants for sit-in dining and the resumption of non-contact sport.

There have been calls for more sectors to be reopened, including facilities such as gyms, but no decision on those proposals has been announced by the government.

Click on this link for the full Gazetted Directions