Pictured are the Baruch Entertainers in the Bo-Kaap. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Pictured are the Baruch Entertainers in the Bo-Kaap. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Tweede Nuwe Jaar minstrel street parade expected to take place in June

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Dec 1, 2020

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Cape Town - Cape Town’s events calendar highlights that the annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar minstrel street parade has been provisionally postponed to June 16, 2021.

This was due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the disaster management regulations on public gatherings.

The Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) confirmed that the provisional postponement date was due to the resurgence of infections experienced in the Western Cape.

The event is held on January 2 annually, and is considered one of Cape Town’s most festive public gatherings, drawing thousands of people to the CBD.

KKKA director Muneeb Gambeno said the decision was taken at the weekend and in consultation with its members.

The postponement is provisional, and subject to it being safe to host the event come the newly scheduled date.

Most of the organised minstrel troupes participate under the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association, the current organiser of the event in terms of a three year hosting agreement with the City.

Planning for the event starts at least eight months prior.

Gambeno said they had been monitoring the impact the pandemic had had in the province throughout, ultimately leading to the decision taken.

“The priority is the health and welfare of the participants and attendees, and when applying common sense this event has the potential of being a super spreader, and on that basis alone we cannot have the event on January  2, 2021.”

A change of the famous January 2 date occurred previously when it had fallen on a Friday (Muslim holy day) or Sunday (Christian Sabbath); it was then held on the next available day.

The event attracts more than 80  000 spectators with about 30  000 to 50  000 participants, according to Gambeno.

In addition to that, about 10  000 people attend each of the seven choral competitions held at the Athlone Stadium over weekends in January and February.

Chairperson Ismail Ely said: “In the interest of the safety of our patrons and members with the pandemic situation we find ourselves in, the best thing to do at this stage is to postpone the annual Road March to a later date, subject to everything being back to normal.”

Currently, the board consists of about 30 choirs, each with approximately 150 members.

Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said the City understood that the decision was not one that had been taken lightly “because these events are part of the fabric of Cape Town and they mean so much to the people of this city”.

“The City is committed, when it is possible to safely host the thousands of people who annually flock to these events, to assist the Minstrel, Malay Choir and Christmas Band organisations in the same manner that we have done in the past.”

Cape Argus

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