Business Events and #COVID-19

Event Africa Contributor 24/03/2020 COVID-19

Your regular update on how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting the meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and events industries in Africa.

31 March 2021 – Additional Restrictions as South Africa Remains at Level 1

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the country will remain at Lockdown Level 1 during the Easter period, along with a few additional adjustments. The president also updated the country on Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout plan during his address to the nation on 30 March 2021. Read more here.

14 May 2020 – Partnerships and collaboration: now even more essential

In February 2019, the BestCities Global Alliance, which is managed by GainingEdge, published a news article on the benefits of a partnership. Just over a year later, the importance of working more closely together is even more pronounced as a strategic response to COVID-19. The following advice is based on some of the content from that article.

For more information follow the link

08 May 2020 – Brenthurst Discussion Paper 2020

We are resolved not merely to return our economy to where it was before the coronavirus, but to forge a new economy in a new global reality. Our economic strategy going forward will require a new social compact among all role players – business, labour, community and government – to restructure the economy and achieve inclusive growth.

Building on the cooperation that is being forged among all social partners during this crisis, we will accelerate the structural reforms [emphasis added] required to reduce the cost of doing business, to promote localisation and industrialisation, to overhaul state-owned enterprises and to strengthen the informal sector.

For more information follow the link

20 April 2020 – UIF TERS Application Assistance

TBCSA has signed an agreement with the Department of Labour (DOL) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to expedite the payments of benefits to employees affected by COVID-19 during South Africa’s national lockdown.

The COVID-19 UIF Beneficiary Process – Temporary Employers Relief Scheme (TERS)

For more information follow the link

14 April 2020 – Tourism Relief Fund Open for Applicants

The Department of Tourism encourages eligible businesses to apply for the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund during the application period from 07 April to 30 May 2020.

For more information and details, download the
PDF below

14 April 2020 – SA’s COVID-19 epidemic: Trends and Next steps

Prepared on 13th April 2020 by Salim S. Abdool Karim, FRS
Chair: Ministerial Advisory Group on Covid-19
Director: CAPRISA – Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa
CAPRISA Professor in Global Health: Columbia University
Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases: Harvard University
Adjunct Professor of Medicine: Cornell University
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research): University of KwaZulu-Natal
Director: DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in HIV Prevention

For more information follow the link

06 April 2020 – What Relief Measures Have Been Announced For The Film And Creative Industries?


The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) has finalised the criteria to distribute the R150m COVID-19 relief fund for artists, athletes, technical personnel and the core ecosystem that supports them. This follows on from consultations with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA).

For more information follow the link

06 April 2020 -SA’s COVID-19 Infections  Now at 1,655, With 11 Confirmed deaths 

The total number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in South Africa has risen to 1,655 with 11 confirmed deaths.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize made the announcement on Sunday night through a statement. The increase in confirmed cases was 70 from the previously reported cases on Saturday.

For more information follow the link

05 April 2020 – Business Partners allocate Johan Rupert’s 1 Billion Rand donation for small businesses.

A grant has been made available for all companies who are in distress. No Security is required
 A R25 000 grant per business will be given to all successful applicants pending due diligence. There is no repayment for this, if the company in a year is back on its feet, you can voluntarily pay back the grant.
Thereafter a loan up to R 1 000 000 per company can be obtained, as an interest-free loan. They are considering a payment holiday for repayments but after 12 months interest at prime will be charged

For more information follow the link link

04 April 2020 – African Development Bank approves $2 million emergency assistance for WHO-led measures to curb COVID-19 in Africa

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Tuesday approved  $2 million in emergency assistance for the World Health Organization (WHO) to reinforce its capacity to help African countries contain the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impacts.

The grant, which is in response to an international appeal by the WHO, will be used by the world body to equip Regional Member Countries to prevent, rapidly detect, investigate, contain and manage detected cases of COVID-19.

For more information follow the link

04 April 2020 – GainingEdge advice on responding to COVID-19

As our industry manoeuvres its way through these times, it is always helpful to learn from and share with each other – we believe Vancouver, Canada’s current effort is worth discussing. 

For more information follow the link

04 April 2020 – South African Institute of Professional Accountants Offers Guidance to Accountants on COVID-19 Economic Provisions

President Ramaphosa announced measures the government will be taking to minimise the local economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiatives are aimed at reducing loss of income for small businesses and protecting jobs.

In direct response to the measures, the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) held a member engagement webinar on 31 March with several subject matter experts from the Institute in attendance to offer guidance.

For more information follow the link link

03 April 2020 – FNB Statement Confirming COVID-19 Relief

We are pleased to announce that from 1 April – 30 June 2020 we will implement COVID-19 cashflow relief measures to provide relief to individual clients whose financial stability has been impacted by COVID-19. Our interventions will assist clients that demonstrate sound banking behaviour, such as having honoured their repayments to the bank on a consistent basis prior to COVID-19.

For more information follow the link

03 April 2020 – World Economic Forum launches COVID-19 Action Platform to fight coronavirus

The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide. But the sum of many individual actions by stakeholders around the world will not add up to a sufficient response. Only coordinated action by business, combined with global, multistakeholder cooperation can mitigate the risk and impact of this unprecedented global health emergency. 

For more information follow the link

03 April 2020 – Boston Consulting Group has launched an Epidemic Projection

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is dynamic and rapidly evolving, on a daily basis. Although
we have taken great care prior to producing this presentation, it represents BCG’s view at a
particular point in time.

For more information follow the link

03 April 2020 – COVID-19 TERS vs UIF explained 

For more information follow the link

03 April 2020 – Parts of Ghana to be on lockdown, started today

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has announced that movements in some urban areas in the country will be restricted from today, March 30, for two weeks as part of government measures to control the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown affects areas in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, where significant numbers of infections have been recorded. Delivering his fourth national televised address on the state’s anti-coronavirus strategy on Friday evening, President Nana Akufo-Addo said beginning from 1:00 a.m. on Monday, March 30, the lockdown will restrict the movement people for a period of two weeks subject to review.

For more information follow the link

03 April 2020 – Discovery, In A Brand First, Brings Premium Covid-19 Content To Real Time And Discovery Family Subscribers

Real-Time and Discovery Family viewers will for the first time have access to exclusive premium content, only a week after it premiered on the Discovery Channel. In a first for Discovery Inc and in a bid to get as many people informed about the COVID-19 pandemic currently sweeping the globe.

For more information follow the link

03 April 2020 – How to Deal with Rent and Levies

What are landlords who are unable to pay their levies to do? Is there any reprieve for tenants who are unable to pay their rental? Has our government done enough to offer reprieve?

The first critical question to ask is whether the COVID-19 pandemic qualifies before the law as a force majeure or in Latin a vis major event. The same would apply for the nationwide 21-day lockdown.

For more information follow the link

02 April 2020 – Employers cannot force workers to take annual leave during lockdown – Labour minister

Cape Town – Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says his department has received numerous complaints about employers attempting to shift the financial burden of the 21-day lockdown onto employees. Nxesi said that this was being done by various means, including insisting that workers use their annual leave allocation during this period.

Nxesi said that some workers had complained they were being forced to take unpaid leave during the lockdown.

For more information follow the link

01 April 2020 – The African Tourism Approach to Covid-19 Webinar On 03 April 2020, Don’t Miss it

This Tourism Webinar is brought to you by AviaDev Africa and VoyagesAfriq Travel Media to help shape the policy direction of how tourism will be done post covid-19

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) says up to 50 million jobs could be lost because of the pandemic.

The UNWTO in its latest assessment impact on Covid-19 said to expect a 20-30% fall in international tourist arrivals.

To register or read more about it, follow the link

01 April 2020 – All the financial help available to South Africans during the corona crisis

There is now a range of measures – from government, banks, and insurers – available to South African businesses and individuals amid a crippling corona-induced economic crisis.

From loans to tax breaks, most interventions are aimed at getting small businesses in particular through the next couple of months. More measures are expected to help individuals, the self-employed and the informal sector.

For more information follow the link

01 April 2020 – COVID-19: 5 Deaths and 1,353 Cases Across SA

For more information follow the link

31 March 2020 – A special message from Lance Gibbons, Event Africa’s Publishing Editor during the COVID-19 lockdown. Plus regular updates on how your industry is coping with the coronavirus setbacks, and some #longreads to keep you entertained at home.

Read the letter here

31 March 2020 – ICCA and CIMERT join hands in a collaborative research project for COVID-19

The unfolding COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected the meetings industry with events being postponed, relocated or cancelled. Since February 2020, ICCA and CIMERT have embarked on a joint research project to bring their connected expertise together to monitor the status of meetings in the ICCA Association Database. This is part of ICCA’s wider initiative to work with CIMERT (Center of International Meetings Research and Training, Supported by ICCA) to track meetings which have been affected by the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease now called COVID-19.

For more information follow the link

31 March 2020 – UFI launches “UFI connects” online sessions

As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps exhibition industry professionals apart, the need to talk, to discuss, and to learn is bigger than ever. In response to this, UFI, the global association for the exhibition industry, is launching “UFI connects”, a series of regular talks, sessions, and panels that will take place online. “As our industry’s global association, we are working to support our members and the industry at large through this unique time.

For more information follow the link

31 March 2020 – Olympic Games Set New Dates in July 2021

Organizers of the Olympic Games said Monday that the new summer games will take place in July and August 2021, exactly a year after the cancellation of Tokyo 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Summer Games will be held July 23, 2021, to Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will run Aug. 24, 2021, to Sept. 5, 2021.

For more information follow the link

30 March 2020 – Motsepe Family And Associated Companies Pledge R1 Billion For Dealing With Coronavirus Pandemic And Related Challenges

The current lockdown has an impact on the goods, equipment and services that can be purchased immediately and the goods and services which can be provided when the lockdown has been terminated. Our short to medium term interventions include building additional classrooms, computer centers and laboratories in all the 9 provinces of South Africa to assist with the excessively high number of students per classroom in some schools; particularly in the context of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing requirements.

For more information follow the link

30 March 2020 – Ethiopian Airlines to China: last international carrier standing

After being loaded onto a cargo plane on the evening of 21 March in Guangzhou, 108 tonnes of medical supplies donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma arrived at Addis Ababa airport on Sunday, 22 March via an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777 Freighter.

The boss of e-commerce site Alibaba pledged on 17 March via his foundation to send every African country 100,000 masks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 medical protective suits.

For more information follow the link link

29 March 2020 – Every SA website must promote the govt portal on Covid-19, and cell number transfers banned

As of Thursday 26 March 2020, every website with a domain name that ends in .za – including every company website that uses the suffix, every organisation in, and every academic institution in – must link to the South African government’s Covid-19 portal at

For more information follow the link link

28 March 2020 – South Africa has 1170 confirmed cases. This is an increase of 243 new cases from the previous announcement on 26 March 2020. The total number of tests conducted to date is 28 537

On 27 March 2020 it was reported that two deaths had occurred as a result of the COVID-19 virus. The first patient was a 48 year old female who tested positive for COVID-19 on the 23rd March 2020. She was suffering from pulmonary embolism. This means she had an underlying disease.

The second patient who died was a suspected case based on her clinical presentation. The clinicians who were treating her have reported to us that this was a 28 year old female who had presented at the hospital in respiratory distress. At the time of presentation she was hypoxic. She was intubated and transferred to hospital during the early hours of this morning, (ie 27 March 2020 at 3am). On arrival in ICU, she was declared dead. The clinical picture was suggestive of COVID-19 and therefore a test was conducted. Her laboratory results have since been received at 17:20 and were confirmed negative. Her immediate family was also tested and they are also negative. She is therefore no longer considered a COVID-19 case.

For more information follow the link link

28 March 2020 – Don’t travel now so that you can travel later: SA Tourism’s heartfelt inspirational campaign for citizens

As part of South African Tourism’s call for citizens to not travel now, so that you can all travel later, two inspirational TVCs have been launched giving further hope to South Africans during the 21-day lockdown and reinforcing the message that South Africa and it’s people will travel and welcome the world again after COVID-19.

The two 90 second videos are an emphasis on the importance of heeding to the Presidents call to stay home in a bid to flatten the curve and curb the spread of the virus. The videos flaunt picturesque shots of many much-loved South African tourist attractions but with nobody in sight, further highlighting the importance of everyone to be responsible and stay safe. Both the videos showcase the country in a hibernation type state with the echoing message being that if we can stay home today, we’ll be able to travel again soon. 

For more information or to watch the videos follow the links:

27 March 2020 – The small business COVID-19 survival guide

Despite everything, we must not let ourselves use this as an excuse for getting sloppy, or not getting stuff done. It’s so easy to fall into a trap of mediocrity when the world around us is lagging a bit. Now is not the time to do that. It’s never the time to do that! Now is the time to give it your all, improve your business, get systems in place and come out better on the other end. And that’s what we hope this eBook will start. Feel free to share it with your friends, peers and colleagues.

Follow the link for more information or a full copy 

27 March 2020 – UNWTO International Tourism Arrivals Could Fall By 20-30% in 2020

Nations specialized agency for tourism expects that international tourist arrivals will be down by 20% to 30% in 2020 when compared with 2019 figures. However, UNWTO stresses that these numbers are based on the latest developments as the global community faces up to an unprecedented social and economic challenge and should be interpreted with caution in view of the extreme uncertain nature of the current crisis.

For more information follow the link

27 March 2020 – Are you working on the COVID-19 crisis? We want to help.

Aventri wants to offer our registration and website solutions free of charge for those who are looking for easy, quick and safer ways to provide those services and many more to their communities. 

For more information follow the link

27 March 2020 – First two COVID-19 deaths cases confirmed in Western Cape

The Department of Health has confirmed the first coronavirus related deaths in South Africa. The first two COVID-19 fatalities occurred in the Western Cape, one at a public hospital and one at a private hospital.

For more information follow the link link

27 March 2020 – The City Lodge Hotel Group published a statement on the impact of COVID-19 on the Group’s operation

President Ramaphosa has called for a 21-day nationwide lockdown in South Africa from midnight on 26 March 2020 to midnight on 16 April 2020, “a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people”, which the City Lodge Hotel Group fully supports.

During this time, many of City Lodge Hotel Group’s properties in South Africa will be temporarily closed to the public. Hotels that are called upon to provide support to government and essential and critical business continuity services, as well as other enabling services in the form of either quarantine facilities or staff accommodation, will remain open. The Group is ready to support such initiatives as part of a coordinated response to this pandemic and remains well-positioned to re-open any of its hotels on very short notice as circumstances improve.

For more information follow the link

26 March 2020 – Seychelles and COVID-19: 2,300 bookings worth $ 3.8 million cancelled in island nation due to virus, survey finds

(Seychelles News Agency) – A three-day survey carried out in Seychelles shows that at least 2,367 bookings worth $3.8 million were cancelled between February 25 and March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the finance minister.

Overall, the Finance Ministry is projecting a 64 percent drop in tourist arrivals in 2020.

For more information follow the link

26 March 2020 – Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021

In an inevitable move that has been greeted with reluctant acceptance by both sporting and broadcasting communities, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has pushed back this year’s Tokyo games until next year.

For more information follow the link

26 March 2020 – Tourism stakeholders can attend this free worldwide hospitality conference online about the pandemic

The tourism sector has been one of the hardest industries during the Covid-19 pandemic – and with the looming lockdown in South Africa it will only get harder. 

But if you’re invested in the tourism sector – either personally or professionally – you can sign up to attend the free, worldwide Hospitality Tomorrow Virtual Conference – led by a special adviser to the Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Anita Mendiratta and the chairman of Bench Events Jonathan Wolsley.

For more information follow the link

26 March 2020 – The dos and don’ts during the national lockdown

Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned any person who contravenes the regulations of the nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday will be guilty of a criminal offence and will be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both

For more information follow the link

25 March 2020 – South Africa prepares quarantine sites as coronavirus cases rise to 709

South Africa has reported the most coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa, and public health experts are worried that the virus could overwhelm the health system if infection rates rise steeply.

For more information follow the link

24 March 2020 – South Africa Announces National Shutdown

COVID-19 Declared a national emergency by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 16 March 2020. measures such as banning gatherings of more than 100 people and shutting down of schools were put in place to slow down the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The coronavirus(COVID-19) continued to spread aggressively, demanding intense measure to be taken, on 23 March President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a National Lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “Millions of our people have understood the gravity of the situation. Most South Africans have accepted the restrictions that have been placed on their lives and have taken responsibility for changing their behaviour.
I am heartened that every sector of society has been mobilised and has accepted the role that it needs to play.”

For more information follow the link

23 March 2020 – UNWTO convenes Global Tourism crisis meeting

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) hosted a high-level virtual meeting yesterday, bringing together key UN agencies, the chairs of its Executive Council and Regional Commissions, and private sector leaders. Tourism is the economic sector that has been hardest hit by COVID-19 and all participants accepted an invitation from the UNWTO Secretary-General to become part of a Global Tourism Crisis Committee, formed as UNWTO prepares to launch a global guide for recovery.

For more information follow the link

23 March 2020 – Latest Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 From Ministry Of Health

On 23 March 2020, it was announced that South Africa now has 402 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This means there has been an increase of 128 from yesterday’s, 22 March 2020 announcement.

For more information follow the link

23 March 2020 – A practical survivor’s guide to self-quarantine

COVID-19 has halted business as usual. Around the globe business travel has come to a grinding halt as governments warn against non-essential travel, both domestic and international; borders are closed; and employers are encouraged to support remote working so team members can self-isolate in an attempt to the stem the spread of the virus.

For more information follow the link

20 March 2020 – Fist-Bumping Will Have Its Moment Thanks To Coronavirus

As the world struggles to come to grips with COVID-19, business events have become one of the industries hit the hardest. Not only have major conferences and exhibitions in Europe and America been cancelled as a result of the outbreak, but Africa has begun to feel its effects, too

For more information follow the link

19 March 2020 – EGF message of support for the events industry

On Sunday 15 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in South Africa a national disaster. Doing so has enabled the Government to launch a coordinated disaster management plan.

For more information follow the link

12 March 2020 – Due To COVID-19’s Persistence, IMEX Frankfurt has been cancelled

On 11 March 2020 IMEX Frankfurt was officially announced cancelled due to coronavirus escalation. This is what IMEX Group’s chairman and CEO, Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer had to say

For more information follow the link