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Mass gatherings and public events ban explained

Published Mar 20, 2020


CAPE TOWN – The prohibition of mass gatherings and public events does not only hit the famous artist, the performer, the established events management companies and vendors in the pocket. There is a direct cost impact to be felt by the average South African who had bought an advance ticket to an event, probably when coronavirus was only associated with the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Shai Evian, chief executive of innovative ticketing and cashless platform Howler, appealed to South Africans to consider the situation of club DJs, vendors, bar companies, security, AV, tenting, décor companies and have empathy when notified the partial refund on that event they have been looking forward to.

“In the case of postponement/cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances like COVID-19, the event organiser may deduct reasonable costs incurred from the ticket value. This is why most cancellation policies have higher fees closer to the event,” said Evian.

“So, if you receive only a partial refund, please don’t scream at the organiser. Stop to think about the situation they’re in. Have compassion. It’s not cool to lose out on cash, we agree. But stop to think about the unbelievable threat to the industry.” He said without partial refunds or postponements, many event organisers could go out of business.

“And if that happens, your favourite events won’t just be pushed out. They’ll be gone,” he said.

When it comes to cancellations and ticket insurance, Evian said many organisers have event cancellation insurance in place, but communicable diseases are not covered by these policies.

“Like many of us, event organisers find themselves out of luck. Similarly, if you have purchased ticket insurance, you’re covered for most things, but not for event cancellation as a result of a government ban or travel warning,” he said.

Evian advised revelers to be patient with companies as they request the refunds to be processed because, during a global pandemic like this, organizers are dealing with massive demands for refunds. He said the event organizers would communicate directly about postponements or refunds.

“If an event is postponed, take that ticket! At some stage, this whole crazy time will end and you’ll want to get out and celebrate,” said Evian.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s total confirmed coronavirus infections jumped to over 200. President Cyril Ramaphosa this week declared a national state of disaster, due to the rising infections of Covid-19 in South Africa. As part of the interventions, gatherings of more than 100 people are now prohibited in South Africa.

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