‘No’ vote for New Year’s Day festival

2017-12-13 06:01

DO not ignore social media - the real opinion of the community can come over loud and clear.

For instance, a local Facebook site has hundreds and hundreds of messages (just since the beginning of December) from local youth (remember the definition is up to 35 years old) on happenings, or lack of, in Greytown.

In the past week or so, negative comments have been posted on the Umvoti Municipality’s proposed festival at Lake Merthley on January 1, with a reported budget of R728 000.

General consensus is “we do not want such a festival”.

For many years, many local families have traditionally spent New Year’s Day at Lake Merthley having a picnic, watching the children ride their bikes and run around, and just generally enjoying a happy relaxed day with friends and family.

But for the past two years, and proposed again for New Year’s Day 2018, the municipality has decided to spend hundreds of thousands of rand on a function enjoyed by a select few.

Facebook comments on this refer to “same companies, services, caterers at each event being awarded tenders. why are local artists not invited, no security personnel and food stalls provided, liquor freely on sale (liquor licence requirements?) with no control on underage drinking.

On the Facebook site many complaints are that this function is scheduled by the municipality on New Year’s Day and time and time again it is emphasised that traditionally families gather there to spend the day together without “canned and expensive” entertainment being necessary.

Entrance to the festival of R50 to R100 is mocked by the Facebookers – they ask that if nearly R800 000 is being spent on the event, what happens to entrance fees paid.

The message that comes through loud and clear is the youth feel they are not listened to, that there is so much potential among them and they are eager to build up their town and surrounds for their own future.

An appeal is made to Umvoti top officials to develop the talent, skills and ideas already available, or call a public discussion and just listen to what they are saying and take positive action thereon.


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