face mask

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks out of the Belhar Clinic in Belhar, near Cape Town, on March 12, 2020. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

Coronavirus: List of South African events cancelled or postponed

As the spread of coronavirus intensifies, so do the cancellation and postponement of events. Here’s how you can keep track of it all.

face mask

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks out of the Belhar Clinic in Belhar, near Cape Town, on March 12, 2020. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

The transmission of the infamous coronavirus, no longer novel, continues to worsen with each new minute and thus forcing the world into further isolation. If you’re still on the fence, you should know that multiple events have been cancelled, suspended or postponed in less than one week. These events consist of graduation ceremonies, award ceremonies and classes. 

You’ve got to admit, it feels as though South Africa is drawing itself further in based off of pure fear. As it stands, there are almost 140 000 cases worldwide and so far, there have been 5 122 deaths. 

Let’s put it into perspective, shall we? On 5 March, the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in South Africa. Just over a week later — 8 days to be precise — the confirmed cases were at 24. Yes, that means that 24 cases, like wildfire, have spread in just one week. 

Here are events affected by the coronavirus

Gatesville mosque in Cape Town closed

The Masjidul Quds Mosque in Gatesville, Cape Town, has closed its doors on Wednesday 18 March due to the coronavirus.

The decision was taken in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to ban gatherings of more than 100 people.

Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium will temporarily close its doors to the public from Wednesday 18 March until Tuesday 14 April.

This will be the first time the Two Oceans Aquarium has closed since Christmas Day in 1996, but it feels that it is a necessary precautionary measure to protect staff, guests and the community from the coronavirus.

“We understand that this will come as an inconvenience to some of you who may have planned to visit us over the coming weeks, and we ask you please be patient with us as we do our best to attend to your concerns,” it said in a statement.

Rand Easter Show postponed

The Rand Easter Show has been postponed due the surge in Covid-19 infections. The event was expected to run from 8 April to 13 April. 

The organisers said it the event would be rescheduled later, in “consensus with government”.

Cape Town Carnival

The Cape Town Carnival has been cancelled on Monday 16 March due to the coronavirus.

The decision was taken following government’s ban on gatherings of more than 100 people due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

CEO of the Cape Town Carnival Jay Douwes said a lot of work was put into the event as teams worked for 11 months, and at the last minute, could not go through with the event.

Ridgeway Muslim School closes

According to a statement released on Saturday 14 March, the Ridgeway Muslim School in Johannesburg has closed do to the coronavirus. It is believed that the mother of one of their pupils tested positive for COVID-19.

The parent, as well as her family have since been placed in quarantine.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival postponed 

In light of growing concerns around the spread of coronavirus, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) management has postponed this year’s event for the foreseeable future, as a public health precautionary measure.

One can refer to the CTIJF website for questions regarding the refund of tickets. 

University of Cape Town graduation ceremony suspended

The University of Cape Town (UCT) leadership has taken the decision on Friday 13 March to postpone the chancellor’s installation on 16 March and suspend March graduation ceremonies from 19 March. 

The Registrar’s Office will send details to graduands about how they can receive their certificates of graduation.

The university leadership has also agreed to cancel or postpone any UCT-related conferences and events and suspend the approval of any university-related international travel until the end of June 2020.

Afrikaburn cancelled

One of the country’s biggest outdoor music festivals, Afrikaburn, confirmed on Friday 13 March that it will not go ahead this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and said that they would not be able to refund customers who had already bought tickets.

The AfrikaBurn Festival is hosted in the Karoo desert near the tiny town of Tanqua, has said that it will oblige its civil responsibility and close its doors to tens of thousands of loyal “burners” following escalation in the coronavirus pandemic. 

Stellenbosch graduation suspended

Stellenbosch University announced on Friday 13 March that it has cancelled graduation in April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Graduation ceremonies scheduled for the week of 31 March to 3 April have been cancelled. All graduands will receive their qualifications in absentia and certificates and academic records will be made available during the month of April. 

IAB Bookmarks Awards and Summit

The IAB on Thursday 12 March took the decision to cancel its physical event scheduled to take place on 19 March at The Galleria in Sandton Johannesburg. 

IAB SA CEO Paula Hulley said: “While all systems are on track for the 2020 award announcements next Thursday, we are taking a cautious approach, based on the industry’s response to COVID-19.”

“We are transforming the 2020 event into a digital-first, free awards experience that will be accessible to all online through the IAB SA digital platforms and supporting local media,” said 2020 Bookmarks Jury President Andrea Quaye. 

The IAB Bookmark Awards, an IAB SA initiative, celebrates its 12th year of rewarding excellence in digital and recognising the powerful impact interactive has on the overall marketing mix. The Bookmark Awards sets the benchmark for tech, digital and leading innovation.

For more information on how to attend the virtual event, keep an eye on the Instagram account, @iab_sa.

Bushfire Festival postponed due to coronavirus

The upcoming Bushfire Festival has been postponed until 28-30 May 2021 because of the coronavirus. It was announced on Friday. 

Announced by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see”, MTN BUSHFIRE is Eswatini’s (formerly Swaziland) internationally acclaimed music & arts festival that celebrates creative expression whilst promoting social responsibility, stimulating the economy and drawing talent and tourists from across Africa and around the world.

Wits University classes 

While some classes at Wits University in Johannesburg remained on Friday 13, the health science faculty was completely closed down to a student coming into contact with a coronavirus patient. 

The clinical activities scheduled for students have been cancelled and the student has been made to self-isolate since the discovery. It is unknown when all classes will resume. 

World Football Summit postponed

World Football Summit (WFS) Africa has on Thursday 12 March postponed its event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The gathering was scheduled to take place at the city’s International Convention Centre (ICC) between 17 and 18 March. It is unclear when the event will take place.