South Africa’s Apartheid Museum closed temporarily “in line with government regulations to help curb the spread of COVID-19”. It’s the latest casualty after dozens of heritage attractions were forced to close.

The Apartheid museum logged up to 1 000 visitors per day before the pandemic; most of the visitors were foreign tourists. Unfortunately, visitor numbers were too low when the museum re-opened in January 2021.

Apartheid museum ‘temporarily closed’

The museum posted a notice on Instagram, calling on South Africans to “stay in touch” and “be safe”.

The Apartheid Museum is closed temporarily to the public in line with government regulations to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Please stay in touch for further updates on our social pages. Be safe [face mask emoji]

Museum Director Christopher Till, who has been at the museum for 23 years, said they “had to let go of all of the staff”, approximately 30 people. He adds that there is “no one [at the museum] to turn the lights on and off.

“We can’t afford to lose this place”

Increase in COVID-19 infections

This follows after South Africa recorded a spike in COVID-19 infections across all provinces, with concerns of a third wave still looming ahead. A recent provincial breakdown showed an increase of infections across the board.

The lead researcher for CSIR, Ridhwaan Suliman is a lead researcher for CSIR used the data to compile a graph that better explained the upward trend of COVID-19 infections currently in South Africa.

The highest increases in infections were recorded in the Free State, Gauteng and the Northern Cape. The data also showed that the test positivity rate was showing a ‘sustained increase’ over several weeks – an increase of 5.2%

Gauteng’s seven-day average shot up by more than 30%, while the Free State was leading the curve with the steepest rise in infections since April 2021. Furthermore, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by about 5%.

Dr Zweli Mkhize’s most recent statement can be read below, scroll to the right to view.

Now read – In Photos: Walter Sisulu VR exhibition ‘Reality Check’ at Apartheid Museum

Fugard Theatre closure

Another casualty, the Fugard Theatre, announced back in March 2021 that the establishment would be closing its doors to the public, in what the EFF labelled a “collapse of the entire creative industry”.

The party referred to the collapse as “demoralising and culturally crippling. This follows after the Fugard Theatre announced its closure this month, while the Apartheid Museum would be closing temporarily.

The museum will be closing its doors due to the lack of funding, with concerns that it may have to close down permanently. The EFF said in a statement:

“The entire creative industry has been abandoned by national government, with artists periodically talking to the streets and occupying prominent administrative buildings, demanding state intervention as their livelihoods collapse in the face of COVID-19”.

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Presh JM Reporter

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