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Wedding Bookings Must Be Refunded In Full Says South Africa Ombudsman

NEWS: The wedding phrase goes “for better for worse, richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” and that is now testing the faith between couples as well as their relationship with their wedding planner. Can your love and faith in each other keep you together as the coronavirus destroys marriages before it happens?

Here in South Africa, the president of the country announced the 21-day lockdown going into effect as of Thursday, midnight. Millions of men and women face the prospect of never having their special wedding moment in the near and long term future. The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic outbreak has divorced bridal couples from their weddings and now South African consumer goods and services ombudsman says you can get a 100% refund on your booking.

According to consumer affairs specialist Wendy Knowler, in her recent TimesLIVE story she explains how the cost of a wedding cancellation has become a crisis for both the event planner and the wedding couple.

In most cases, full payment has been made for the venue, flights, accommodation, catering, decor, hair, photographer and all the rest. Legally, given the ban on public gatherings or more than 100 – which is very likely to drop to far less, very soon – consumers have a right to full refunds of what they’ve paid. Based on our interpretation of the spirit and intent of the Consumer Protection Act [CPA], consumers have a right to a full refund in these circumstances,” says consumer goods and services ombud Magauta Mphahlele.

“But if a postponement is possible, we urge consumers to take this option, rather than request a refund, to minimise the impact on suppliers who are also not at fault,” she said.

South Africa enters a 21-day lockdown as of Thursday midnight, here’s how this impacts your daily life. Learn more by visiting this story here

To read the full story of how bridal couples, event planners and other wedding services have had their lives turned upside down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic click here

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The global lockdown has everyone’s mental health in a spin! Have you checked out our Mental Health resources by Indian Spice click here

The South African Depression And Anxiety Group (SADAG) is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group open 7 days a week from 8am – 8pm. If you are needing a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist or support group call SADAG on 011 234 4837 or 0800 20 50 26 and speak to a trained counselor who can assist you further. Substance abuse hotline: 0800 12 13 14 is available 24hrs or alternatively email Zane on zane@sadag.org

If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist. India Helplines: Aasra: 022 2754 6669; Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050 and Sanjivini: 011-24311918

Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority during the coronavirus crisis. 

Connect with the Coronavirus Whatsapp services below

  • Coronavirus India Whatsapp tap here
  • Coronavirus South Africa Whatsapp tap here
  • SA Hotline Number: 0800 029 999

For more related coronavirus (COVID-19) latest news and stories click here