Cape Town to host minstrels carnival in new year

2014-12-24 10:13

The annual minstrel carnival in Cape Town will be held on January 5, the City of Cape Town, the Cape Cultural Events and Carnival Committee have agreed.

“This decision has been taken in order to respect the religious significance of the original date of January 3,” the city said yesterday.

“The event will take place between 12pm and 11.30pm. The route will revert back to the original course through the Bo-Kaap.”

The city said it would assist with the new logistical arrangements and this would include traffic services to minimise the impact of the road closures.

The city would also provide generators, waste management services, Metro police, law enforcement, disaster risk management and fire and rescue services, and any other internal costs for which the city is responsible in terms of legislature.

“The city has also given permission for the Cape District Minstrel Board to make use of Ravensmead Stadium.”

On November 17, The Western Cape department of cultural affairs said the provincial government pledged R2.37 million to help financially support the Cape Minstrels, Malay and Christmas choirs.

The events involved include the Christmas Choir Bands March, usually held on December 24, the Malay Choir Nagtroupe March on December 31 and the Tweede Nuwejaar Minstrel March.

In 2012, the City of Cape Town appointed retired Constitutional Court judge Kate O’Regan to mediate between the city and the minstrels, and she recommended that the group organise themselves.

Last year, the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association initially refused to sign a memorandum of understanding about the minstrel carnival, demanding more money and greater control of the event and its resources.

The South African Christmas Bands Board also did not sign the agreement.

At the time, the city said it provided R3.5 million in support services, such as traffic control and law enforcement, to ensure the carnival was properly controlled and managed.

The provincial government provided R2 million for the transportation of all minstrel groups taking part in the carnival, Malay choirs and Christmas bands.

The organisations signed after it was agreed that minstrel associations would participate in the management of carnival events, and that the associations would become the overarching event organisers of the next Cape Annual Minstrel Carnival.

The department said the minstrels had formed a coordinating committee this year. Its primary function was to raise funds and manage the annual festivities.

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