Govt plans to regulate gyms and fitness training centres, or close them down

Govt plans to regulate gyms and fitness training centres, or close them down
FITNESS LOCKDOWN: New regulations gazetted in the draft amendment bill for sports and recreation may see gym and other fitness centres being shut down if they fail to comply with the new regulations. PICTURE BY Daily Sun

The regulatory body will have powers and will be established by minister Nathi Mthethwa.

A new body that will be established by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa will have the powers to regulate gyms and fitness centres.

This will happen under a new draft law that seeks to give government more control of sporting codes in South Africa.

It will give Mthethwa, as minister, the powers to close down gyms and suspend the registration of fitness professionals if they do not comply with regulations. 

The Fitness Industry Regulatory Authority is one proposal in the draft National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill published for public comment in December last year. 

The law will create various new bodies, including one to regulate “combat sport” and a Sport Arbitration Tribunal, reports Business Insider.

The regulation will cover almost anything that looks like a gym, including to anyone who helps others get and stay fit in exchange for money.

If passed, its rules and powers will be published in the Government Gazette, and the body will appoint 5 board members.

That body will then have whatever powers the minister gives it, and will wield them over “fitness establishments” and “fitness professionals”, funded by an annual “subscription fee” levied on gyms according to their size.

The law proposes that the regulator will have the specific power to “close a fitness establishment”, or suspend the accreditation of a gym or trainer if they fail to comply with regulations.

It also makes provision for the inspection of gyms to check their compliance with “applicable law”, and “the issuing of sanctions”.

The only direct hint at the nature of the rules that would be applied comes in the form of a prescript that the regulator must ensure that safety measures are in place before grading establishments by their size and equipment.

The fitness regulator is also due to create dispute-resolution mechanisms, which could potentially include a forum for consumers to take complaints about gyms, such as the common trouble of cancelling gym contracts.

(edited by ZK, with Business Insider)

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