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INTERNATIONAL recording artist Beyoncé Knowles may soon get a multimillion-rand offer from the City of Tshwane to perform at the 20 Years of Democracy Celebrations in the city next year.
The extent and cost of the celebrations were revealed in a proposed memorandum of understanding between the event organisers and the metro.
The memo was tabled before the mayoral committee, and the event is to be part of the Dinokeng Fest Celebrations to be held in Cullinan in September.
According to DA councillor Adriana Randall and recent media reports, Beyoncé will be the main act for the festival, which will form part of Heritage Month.
“Beyonce Knowles has been identified as the key headline artist for the inaugural festival, alongside other award-winning national and international artists,” Randall said.
The concept of the festival was approved in April and, according to the memorandum, will cost the city an estimated R45 million in infrastructure development and grants.
The memorandum states that Cullinan was chosen as the host so the metro could demonstrate its “commitment towards fully integrating the erstwhile municipalities into the metro and promote social cohesion”.
“This fest will be a three-day event, modelled along the lines of the Glastonbury Festival in England,” Randall said.
“Cullinan has been identified by Sony Music Entertainment and ROCKSTAR4000 as a perfect home for the festival due to its unique characteristics aligned to the nature of such festival.”
The City of Tshwane said yester-day that it was scouting for international artists, but had not yet approached anyone to perform. Ninety percent of performances at the event would be by local artists.
“High-profile international talent will be key to attracting the large audiences expected at the event as well as driving international interest from fans around the globe. But one of the primary strengths of the offering will be the incredible African talent appearing alongside them over the course of the festival,” the statement read.
The report claimed the event would put Tshwane on the map as a “capital city of excellence, building an image and profile nationally, regionally and internationally”.
“The social, cultural and economic benefits to be derived from this initiative are invaluable. I am confident this initiative will leave a lasting legacy, not only to the residents of Tshwane, but countrywide and globally,” city manager Jason Ngobeni said yesterday.
The event partnership agreement, once signed by Ngobeni, is to be valid for three years.
The city is to provide a R20m grant in advance and is to supply event organisers with bulk water infrastructure, electricity, stormwater and sewage drainage, wi-fi connectivity, fencing and other services, such as Tshwane Emergency Services and a Tshwane Metro Police presence, to the value of R25m.
Randall, the DA spokeswoman on finance, labelled the organisation of the event “a hasty decision”.
She said the Department of Economic Development had warned the city against such an expensive event. The DA was concerned about the huge financial commitment and that normal supply chain processes had not been followed.
“The agreement was reached by means of an unsolicited bid. The venue chosen for the fest is a private property. Will Tshwane invest R25m in this privately owned property, while many residents in Cullinan and surrounding areas do not have the luxury of well-developed infrastructure and basic services?”
The Department of Economic Development was tasked with analysing the viability of major investment projects and whether the intended investment would make economic sense, she said.
“They are concerned that these major festivals (especially new ones) take up to three years to plan, market and implement,” she said.
Randall said the time allocated to implement the event was less than six months, according to the report.
“It was therefore suggested the event rather be postponed to the 2015 Freedom Day celebrations.
“Although the DA will support such initiatives, we are concerned, especially in the light of concerns by the Economic Development Department in its report and because of the major financial commitment made to this fest.”
The report said the event could realise R8 billion in marketing exposure and revenue of “at least R200m”. The city would also receive a return on investment in terms of international exposure, branding and naming rights, it said. - Pretoria News