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COVID-19: insolvency association cancels Cape Town conference

An international conference of accountants and lawyers, which was due to take place in Cape Town in less than a fortnight’s time, has been cancelled amid mounting coronavirus fears.

INSOL International, a federation of 44 national associations, was scheduled to hold its annual conference, March 15-17, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Up to 1,000 delegates were expected at the meeting.

South Africa has no confirmed cases of coronavirus and the decision to cancel the event is expected to cause ‘significant hardship’ to the organisation, which relies heavily on registration fees.

Nevertheless, after accessing the spread of the virus internationally, the board of Insol (The International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals) opted to cancel the event.

“As you can imagine, much deliberation has gone into making this difficult decision. However, the health and safety of our delegates around the world and staff is our top priority,” said Insol International CEO Jason Baxter and President Julie Hertzberg in a statement.

“As more information has become available in the last 48 hours regarding the spread of the virus and the further restrictions on travel and quarantine protocols in certain countries, we recognise the potential negative impact this can have on all of you.”

Delegates now have the option of a full refund or else they can transfer their registration fee to the 2021 congress in San Diego.

However, the federation said it would be grateful if members donated their registration fees – £1,7500 – £2,500 – so it could continue with ‘critical projects’ earmarked for 2020.

“The cancelling of this event is unprecedented and the return of registration fees represents a significant hardship to the organization due to the non-reimbursable costs.

“To the extent you have flexibility, we would be grateful if you would consider donating your registration fee in lieu of a refund or carry forward request. This will allow us to continue with critical projects we have planned for the remainder of the year.”