Concert funding rethink

2008-09-04 00:00

Msunduzi Municipality is to review the way it funds concerts. This follows the sponsorship of two concerts over the weekend that failed to live up to the promises made by the organisers.

The Executive Committee (Exco) gave R250 000 to the former head of the KZN Agriculture Department, Dr Jabulani Mjwara, for a concert, which promised to attract 15 000 people and ended up with fewer than 400 and without the full line-up of artists.

The organisers of the Wonderful Women gathering staged at Durban’s Absa Stadium, said they would have an audience of 40 000, but only about 1 000 attended.

Exco decided yesterday to stop approving entertainment events, but to allow their procurement department to put proposed events out to tender. In addition, they have called for full reports on both concerts.

The committee decided its marketing and communications department should compile a calendar of events to be held in 2009 and request detailed business plans from bidders. The process will then be adjudicated under the supply chain management policy. Preference will be given to events that have already attracted sponsorship.

Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo said that after the calendar has been approved, the procurement department will deal with the proposals and select the best people for each event.

After getting their fingers burnt, some Exco members were cautious. The ANC’s Pops Chetty proposed that the organisers should also furnish council with financial statements after the events.

DA caucus leader Bill Lambert said Exco members have “seen the repercussions” of the weekend concerts and he believes the organisers should also give Exco a full report after each event.

One event that managed to get funding approval before the new rules come into play is a cultural festival that was on yesterday’s agenda. The 11-page proposal by Culture Biz contains the company’s vision, mission, principles and core values and detailed market research and marketing strategy. It has names and ID numbers of the directors and company members.

This got the nod from the DA’s Mark Steele, who said that proposals with a detailed business plan should be a requirement.

The cultural show, which received R150 000 of the R300 000 organisers asked for, will be staged in the city on Heritage Day, September 24.

Exco members decided to fund the event, originally planned for three days, subject to the proposed activities, which include traditional performances, a comedy show, beauty pageant, flea market, car show, museum exhibition and cultural parade being condensed to one day.

thandom@witness.co.za

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