Emerging event organisers raise concerns

2016-10-19 06:00

AT a meeting at the city hall on Friday, emerging Pietermaritzburg event organisers say they are not satisfied with Msunduzi Municipality regarding various issues.

They said they are not getting adequate municipal support when planning events, which bring in revenue for the city and attracts tourists.

One organiser, Fano Gumede of Fanotainment, said the municipality is only interested in funding big events like the Comrades Marathon and the jazz festival, not small events.

“The municipality does not take our events seriously. We write proposals and follow procedures, but we never get funding. We always have to dig out of our own pockets to make sure our events take place.

“But the municipality does not hesitate to fork out money for sporting events like the Comrades Marathon. We also bring in revenue to Pietermaritzburg, but don’t get the support,” said Gumede.

Another attendee complained about the accessibility of the municipality’s communications and marketing office.

“Even getting venues for our events is a mission. The municipality needs to open doors for emerging event organisers. We should not be treated as outcasts when we work hard to put the city on the map.”

Speaking on behalf of municipal support and sponsorship division, Seqisile Dlungwane, said it was not that they were denying anyone funding.

“The municipality does provide support to events taking place around the city, but there are strict processes that must be followed. All proposals are sent to the strategic management committee for approval, they are the decision-makers. The committee decides to offer you funding based on whether or not your event will benefit Pietermaritzburg residents and tourism.”

Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association director Dumisani Mhlongo said grievances raised by the event organisers will be escalated to the tourism forum. “As event organisers, you have a right to bring up grievances and they should be heard. If you followed the procedure to apply for funding and your application was not dealt with properly, you have a right to bring it up and get an explanation,” he said.

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