THE two biggest minstrel associations have reached a “groundbreaking” agreement with the city over the annual carnival which will be organised by the minstrels for the first time next year.
The annual row between the city and the minstrels reared its head again last week with the city and the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) at loggerheads over the city appointing an events organising company to arrange the annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar parade.
The CTMCA felt aggrieved saying they did not want to be guests at their own event which they were more than capable of arranging themselves. Last week mayor Patricia de Lille said the majority of minstrel associations had signed the agreement with the city for the carnival except the CTMCA who refused to sign which De Lille said could have affected the entire event taking place on January 4.
De Lille earlier said she would not bend the rules but the impasse has been resolved with a commitment from the city that the minstrels will in fact organise the event themselves from next year.
At a joint press conference yesterday, De Lille, ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman, CTMCA and the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) announced they had reached an “amicable” agreement to ensure a successful carnival.
The CTMCA last week also threatened to take the city to court for the appointment of an event organiser which the organisation said was the city reneging on its earlier talks.
De Lille said the agreement was concluded after meetings with Fransman, the mayor and the minstrel associations on Friday. Fransman said: “This is a groundbreaking get-together and it is vital, because now we have the two biggest associations looking at how to manage and protect their cultural heritage.”
De Lille said after fruitful discussions, the city, the CTMCA and the KKKA agreed the minstrels would participate in the upcoming events, that next year the associations will be the overarching event organisers of the Cape Annual Minstrel Carnival and that the city would assist with competitions at the Athlone Stadium, Vygieskraal, Florida Park and Delft. For the upcoming events however, the appointed event organiser, Bharooch Event Styling and Management, will work with the minstrel organisations in arranging the event.
Kevin Momberg, chief executive officer of the CTMCA said: “We are very happy that the issues were resolved. It is historic because it is now a public commitment from the mayor so there is no way the city can back down. It’s not about the money, it is about protecting our culture.”
Fransman said he intervened as the cultural event had to be protected and it seemed from the mayor’s statements last week that she had been misled on what the associations actual concerns were.
Fransman convened meetings with the two associations and the mayor last week. De Lille said the city would start talks with the minstrel organisations as early as February.
Melvyn Matthews from the KKKA said: “This is an amazing event and after all the fighting with authorities, we are finally doing this event with the city.”
This year the city is providing R3.5 million for the events for security, traffic and cleaning services. Provincial government is also funding R2m for transport for the troupes.