South Africa’s horse racing industry is entering into a deep recession because of the COVID-19 crisis. According to the National Horse Racing Authority (NHRA), most of the 60,000 people employed by the industry are currently on furlough and 80% of these jobs are at immediate risk.
In pre-Corona days, the industry had an annual turnover of R12 billion. However, COVID-19 has seen South African trainers losing R3 million a month as they take on only a fraction of their normal workload. Jockeys are also on the losing end, forfeiting some R6.5 million in salaries each month. The horse racing industry contributes around R3 billion to South Africa’s GDP each year and R800 million in taxes.