Virus ban puts hold on raft of gigs

Cancellations to hit pockets in showbiz

As more and more events get cancelled and postponed, the public is starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus. After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s official declaration of a national disaster, the organisers of a number of major events have announced their cancellations. 

In light of the banning of large public gatherings, both the upcoming Boyz II Men South African tour and the Scorpion Kings live concert, meant to take place next month, were postponed. DJ Maphorisa took to Twitter to apologise over the postponement of the Scorpion Kings gig which was to take place on April 11. “Maybe you don’t get it. No more clubs, no more schools, no more churches, no more conferences, no more sport, no more companies. People numbering more than 100 should not be in one space.” Rand Show, which was to be held on April 8-13, was also postponed yesterday. 

Taboo nightclub, a hotspot in Sandton, has also closed its doors for the time being. Bebe Winans’ concert, Born For This: The Musical Experience, has also been put on hold. It was to be staged on Friday and Saturday in Joburg and Durban. In his address, Ramaphosa announced the impact the precautions would have on businesses, schools, and international and domestic travel. Africa’s Travel Indaba, due to take place from May 12-14, has also been postponed. SA Tourism chief executive Sisa Ntshona said they were in full support of the decision and were duty bound to protect the nation and Industry. The Proudly SA Buy Local Summit and Fxpo was also postponed and Rhodes University has announced a stop to all their events including graduation ceremonies. Neil Roets, chief executive of Debt Rescue, said they were gearing up for one of the busiest years in the history of the company because of the growing numbers of distressed consumers who wanted to go under debt review. “While the substantial fuel cuts in April are going to provide a welcome respite, the reality is that the economy as a whole is in such an awful place that the Coronavirus pandemic may just be the final straw that will drive South Africa into a deep recession.” He added that with major events being cut the effect was massive on those who relied on profits from them. 

“You have caterers, organisers, venues, etc. All these people get impacted and the economy will slow down because of this. It has far-reaching consequences for all South Africans and it includes all industries. It is difficult with vendors and the likes to protect themselves financially. If you have a kind of business where you are dependent on these events and massive gatherings It Is going to be difficult times ahead. And with regard to your own health and safety, you have to make sure, if there are any events… that you protect yourself.” 

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