Yesterday, 15 March 2020, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed the nation regarding public security surrounding the outbreak of Covid-19. A state of emergency have been declared and the following sanctions and suspensions have been put in place:
- All public events/mass gatherings/religious gatherings have been suspended for the next 30 days.
- Schools will close down from March 18 until after the Easter the festivities.
- Immediate borders have been closed
- Suspensions of flights to and from, from the following countries have been suspended: USA, China, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, Japan and the UK
- All Visa applications have been placed on hold (for all territories)
- No school sports, inter school sport or gatherings are permitted for the next 30 days
Furthermore, several events companies, including Big Concerts have cancelled several events, including (but not yet confirmed officially) the WWE Live Tour of South Africa. Other organisations outside of South Africa have taken this matter very seriously by disbanding, cancelling or suspending their business operations, sport seasons and events.
Based on the above, and taking our fans as well as our wrestlers’ lives, health and safety into consideration, Slamforce Africa (Pty) Ltd. have decided to suspend all operations regarding public events until further notice.
“We can no longer ignore the seriousness of this situation, and as a company that prides itself on being one for the fans, we must first and foremost take our fans’ health and safety into consideration. Yes this will hurt our company financially, but our fans is more important to us than putting up possible life endangering events. We love our fans, and we know our fans love us as well, and we are confident they will all see that we don’t want to disappoint them, but that we will do whatever it takes to keep our fans and wrestlers safe.” Said Slamforce Africa President & CEO, Cornelius A.P. van Tonder.
With suspension of international flights, and the fact that Slamforce Africa’s roster is 68% international competitors residing in the USA and Europe, there is no way the promotion can continue to promote SFA02 or any other live event until further notice, due to talent not being permitted to travel to South Africa, and most importantly due to the company not being willing to gamble with the lives of our talent or fans.
Mr. van Tonder continued in his statement: “I do believe, that people should take Covid-19 more seriously, regardless of your own personal feelings and opinions towards it. I would urge everyone to use common sense in this situation, it takes a lot from multiple governments, big corporations and entities to suspend operations knowing what it will do to the economy and their own businesses. No one is going to take these extreme measures if the situation was not indeed serious. Regardless of that fact, if you are still personally not sold on taking it seriously, please take a defensive stance and look at it then from a ‘rather safe than sorry’ perspective. Don’t’ gamble with your own life. I know a lot of people will be affected financially. But let’s rather pull together, swallow a short term hardship for the benefit of life and safety.”
Slamforce Africa, will not cancel any events for this year, unless the situation becomes more dire, at this stage the company confirms that all events is just being put on hold until the situation has cleared up, and until further communication is received from government and the World Health Organisation.
Obviously this does effect the livelihood of the company and its employees, and as fans knowing we all have wait a little bit longer to see more SFA action. You can still support the company by buying t-shirts on their online store. At this stage, it will be the only form of income for the company until further notice. Executive Vice President, and head of Commercialisation, Johan Roux had the following to say: “We know this is not ideal and this is rather disappointing for everyone in involved. However, we know our fans are extremely passionate, just in the last week alone, again we were reminded by our fans how loyal and passionate they are about Slamforce Africa. To those fans, we would like to ask, to not allow us to go down without a fight, and continue supporting us on our online store by purchasing t-shirts and other merchandise. We will have a strong focus in the coming months on our merchandise to try and make up for the lack of events. You can still support us and show your passion for Slamforce Africa in this uncertain time.”
Support can be shown by purchasing t-shirts and caps and hoodies at https://luckylittle.co.za/slamforce/
For more information regarding Covid-19 please follow this link: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
South Africans are also advised and urged to use the following hotline, should you display any signs of the Covid-19 virus. The Department of Health have asked South Africans that should you display any symptoms, please do not go to a doctor, pharmacist or nurse and risk infecting others, please call the hotline provided and set up specifically for these cases, and the Department of Health will send someone to your home to test you and move you safely into care should you be tested positively: 0800029999
We ask our fans, wrestlers and employees to please be safe, vigilant and keep your hygiene levels at an extra added high standard until further communication is received from your governments.