The exhibition and events industry says it will lose billions of rand due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa has 116 cases of coronavirus – and no reported deaths.  There are more than 200 000 cases across the globe, and close to 9 000 deaths.

INFOGRAPHIC: Number of cases in SA:

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Government has declared a national state of disaster, prohibiting major events until June 15.

Spokesperson for the industry, Carol Weaving says some of the companies will not survive this period.

Several international music concerts and exhibitions scheduled to take place in South Africa have been cancelled.

Weaving says the industry will need some support.

She says, “You pay various costs to market the event. If the event is cancelled last minute, the organisers loses a lot of money, more importantly the suppliers. Everybody is cancelling events for the right reason. I do believe we need government’s intervention to assist smaller business around the industry sector.”

Comic Con Cape Town cancelled

Comic Con Cape Town has been cancelled following government’s ban on public events for over 100 people, during a 90 day national disaster period, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans will have a choice between refunding their tickets, or rolling it over to the new dates in 2021.

The event will now be held from the 24-27 April next year at the Cape Town Stadium.

Creative industry hit by public gathering ban

Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says they are looking at ways which will ensure that performing artists can continue to do their work in the light of the stringent measures put in place as a result of COVID-19.

Part of the country’s measures to contain the virus is to prohibit the public gatherings of over 100 people. The creative industry is one of the hardest hit with this ban.

Mthethwa met with stakeholders of both Sports and Arts sectors in Pretoria on Tuesday on the department’s stance and decisions that have significant implications on the sector.

Performing artists rely on shows for their livelihood. The ban on public gatherings means they will be without an income until the ban is lifted.

Minister Mthethwa says as the country tries to contain the virus, it’s now time to explore other ways for creatives artists to continue with their work without an audience.

“In mitigating the situation, one of the things is how do they continue to do what they do best which is their work as artists without an audience. How do we utilise the 4th Industrial Revolution? How do we engage the public broadcaster to be biased to them, in giving out messages? Messages that highlight the challenges of this COVID 19,” Mthethwa says.

VIDEO: Impact of COVID-19 on arts sectors:

INFOGRAPHIC: Government’s regulations to curb COVID-19: