Cape Town - The City of Cape Town expressed disappointment on Tuesday at the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association's (CTMCA) failure to sign a memorandum of understanding about the Cape Minstrels' annual carnival.
The CTMCA's demand for additional money and for greater control of the event and its resources from the city was unsustainable and unreasonable, the city said in a statement.
“It was apparent during the negotiations that this group would not sign the agreement and that they were hell-bent on pressuring the city to transfer the money to organise the event to them,” it said.
This was instead of issuing a tender to appoint an event organiser, as required by municipal financial regulations.
“The city will never bend the law for any organisation that refuses to subject itself to the Municipal Finance Management Act.”
Negotiations with the CTMCA had been non-co-operative and confrontational, it said.
The city said it started negotiations with minstrel associations, Malay choir boards and Christmas band boards in April to ensure this year's road march was properly organised. The memorandum was signed by more than three quarters of the interested parties on December 3.
The CTMCA refused to sign the memorandum, despite three attempts by the city to secure its participation.
“The SA Christmas Bands Board, which marches in the central city annually on 24 December, has also not signed the agreement,” the city said.
As a result, the city would not organise or incur costs for the marches on Tuesday, December 24.
The city said it provided R3.5 million in support services, such as traffic control and law enforcement, to ensure the carnival was properly controlled and managed.
The provincial government provided R2m for the transportation of all minstrel groups taking part in the carnival, Malay choirs, and Christmas bands.
“National government also allocates an unspecified amount to the event through these groups in order to pay for various costs,” the city said.
“This shows that the minstrels' carnival receives sufficient financial support from all three spheres of government.”
The city was determined to grow the Tweede Nuwejaar Minstrel Road March into an event with similar status to the Cape Town Carnival and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
“It is our sincerest hope that it can grow to display the professionalism and management competence of these two major iconic events,” it said.