Taj Hotel apologises for asking that Cape Malay Choirs not play music outside hotel

2015-12-31 22:00


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The Taj Hotel manager in Cape Town has apologised for asking that the Cape Malay Choirs not play music when walking past the hotel during the traditional annual parade.

"I recognize in retrospect that my request to Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Garreth Bloor, was insensitive and would like to retract it," said Michael Pownall.

He said that the management of the hotel had embraced the heritage of Cape Town since the hotel opened five years ago and that they respected the integral part that the Cape Minstrels and its parades played in Cape Town culture.

Earlier on Thursday, mayoral committee member for tourism, event and economic development Garreth Bloor confirmed that they had received the letter from the Taj, which was in turn passed on to the Cape Malay choir organisers.

The letter, written by Pownall reads: "They [choirs] should just march past and into Adderley St without music - This really is critical as I have a 100% full Hotel with very high-rate paying visitors, whom will SERIOUSLY complain if they cannot sleep due to this event.

"We have had some co-operation in the past, but it has never been ideal... bad enough that we have to deal with the road closures and access problems this brings. Do let me know please."

Bloor said they normally passed the messages on whenever they received such requests.

"We issued the event organiser with a noise exemption certificate so any decision to reduce noise was entirely in their hands and their choice. Final power was given to the event organisers by the city and they had the right to decide as it was their event," he said.

The organisers said at the time, however, that while they had not been aware of the letter until after the event, they would not be silenced. The event had gone ahead as planned.

President of the Cape Malay Choir Board, Shafick April said the traditional parade had been around long before the hotel.

He said they had adhered to their permit in terms of marching through the streets of Cape Town.

"We were not passing a mosque, or a holy shrine. It is just a hotel. No one else complains. The people in the guest houses and motels in the area don’t complain."

The traditional event usually takes place on New Year's Eve, but was moved to December 30 because it fell on a Thursday, which clashed with the beliefs of the mostly Muslim singers and musicians.

Pownall said that they always encouraged their guests to watch the Parades and share the cultural significance of this Cape Town institution.

“In-fact we share with our guests copies of a book, Coon Carnival, about the history of the Minstrels and the parades.”

Read more on:    cape town

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.