Cape minstrels decry City's proposed three-year funding contract
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Cape Town - The City’s proposal to bind minstrel organisations to a three-year funding contract, giving the same amount every year, has drawn criticism for not taking into account inflation and the rising costs of expenses.
The mayoral committee has approved a recommendation for multi-year agreements for three minstrel events to be tabled at the next council meeting. However, some minstrel organisations said it would not be enough considering inflation.
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “Our intention has always been to help enable these events by providing stability, which we believe will lead to growth and sustainability. These events are about supporting culture as well as creating employment and economic benefits for the troupes and choirs.”
Smith said this was the first time these organisations would benefit from extended agreements with the City, and they believed that approving multi-year agreements could help the various organisations secure corporate sponsorship. This would also mean that organisations could be certain of the City’s support and be able to plan their events better.
The Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association and the Cape Malay Choir Board applied for funding from the City of Cape Town through its special events committee, which supported the requests for three-year agreements with the organisations. The association will receive R2.4million in cash funding and R800 000 in services and venue costs waiver. While the Cape Malay Choir Board will receive R700 000 in cash funding and R400 000 in services and venue costs waiver.
The director of the association, Muneeb Gambeno, said: “The minstrels carnival is the largest event and has been under-supported and under-financed. Year on year we’ve been putting in our own money. The funding is insufficient and in order for the event to run, 50% of this allocation goes to security.”
Gambeno said the Cycle Tour received R20m in funding.
“The Tweede Nuwe Jaar event attracts thousands of people and has been running on a very small grant,” he said.
The secretary of the Cape Malay Choir board, Ismail Ely, said they welcomed the announcement, but the funding amount had not changed.
“We get it every year and we have become accustomed to it. The money is not enough and only covers fencing, toilets and security,” Ely said.
However, Smith said all requests for funding were received through the City’s event support application system and were considered by within their delegations of recommendations to the executive mayor.
“The City took into account the Constitution, the Municipal Finance Management Act, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, the City’s Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy, and other considerations when it reviewed the applications,” Smith said.