Weddings on Robben Island on Valentine’s Day will be a glaring absence from the calendar this year. This after the Robben Island Museum decided to cancel the prestigious event.

This follows the temporary suspension of applications for IDs, passports and marriage services. The Department of Home Affairs said this was due to an increasing number of staffers testing positive for COVID-19.

The annual Robben Island Valentine’s Day weddings have become a permanent feature during the month of romance for the past 21 years.

Robben Island’s Manager for Infrastructure Girshon Manana says, ” This year would have marked 21 years of celebrating love on the island. Last year 19 couples tied the knot with historic Mr Frankford Williams and his wife Cindi Mullins who are visually impaired officially becoming the first couple in South Africa to receive their marriage certificate in braille.”

Over 300 couples have exchanged vows on Robben Island to date:

The mass wedding is a partnership between the Robben Island Museum and the Department of Home Affairs.

Couples from across the country start the process to apply to get married in Robben Island from September. For some, it’s about the heritage and history of the venue while for others it’s the element of doing something different.