Top local and international acts wowed jazz lovers at the annual free concert on Greenmarket Square which forms part of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Picture: Ian Landsberg/Independent Media
For the past decade, the Sekunjalo Group, via its subsidiary African Equity Empowerment Limited, has invested in the Cape Town International Jazz Festival because of its impact on the economy, and to support black excellence.

Sekunjalo Group executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé said the company invested in the Jazz Festival when espAfrika was faced with shutting down the popular event, because the North Sea Jazz Festival (the forbearer to the festival) had pulled its funding.

The Jazz Festival is often referred to as Africa’s grandest gathering, so Survé said that the Sekunjalo Group could not see such an important Cape Town event being scrapped.

“Billy (Domingo) and Rashied (Lombard) approached us for funding and we agreed based on their ability to put together a show of an international calibre," Survé said.

"The festival is a social enterprise, it is a business, but its impact is significant.

“The festival creates 300 direct jobs and between 2500 to 3 000 jobs during the festival. It also brings in R600 million to the GDP.

“It provides huge opportunities for small businesses, including those in catering, engineering, sound, security and cleaning.

Survé is passionate about development and said the music development week preceding the Cape Town Jazz Festival is a showcase of South African talent.

The festival has been a springboard onto the international stage for South African artists, and it also deepens the cultural links between South Africa and countries like Brazil, China and Cuba.

"One of the most important wins in the investment is that the festival is about black excellence, from the planning to the execution of the festival," Survé said.

“Sekunjalo prides itself on black excellence and sustainability."

Meanwhile, from 5pm today, Lower Long Street, Walter Sisulu Avenue, Heerengracht and Convention Square will be closed for traffic until Monday morning due to the festival at the Cape Town Convention Centre this weekend.