Millions allocated for annual Cape Town minstrel events

2016-11-22 14:29
Cape minstrels. (File)

Cape minstrels. (File)

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Cape Town - A total of R4 million has been set aside for the various annual minstrel events, the City of Cape Town said on Tuesday.

The yearly celebrations are an important part of the city’s cultural heritage and the money would help minstrel groups procure necessary services, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, Eddie Andrews, said.

On Sunday evening, activities involving the minstrels were marred by an illegal march. During this march, a member of a minstrel troupe was shot and killed in Wale Street, in the city centre.

The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association distanced itself from the shooting. Neither the victim, nor the alleged perpetrator, who was arrested, were connected to any of the registered four troupe's who peacefully marched in Bo-Kaap, it said in a statement.

Andrews said the allocated money was intended to avoid such incidents. Police and law enforcement agencies are investigating the shooting.

‘Significant cultural event’

“We strongly condemn this illegal march and can confirm that no permit was issued for the back march. Organisers of back marches place their future event applications in jeopardy, as stated in the City’s Events Policy and by-law,” Andrews warned.

A permit is required for a "back march", which is not on a main route.

Andrews said discussions are scheduled with various minstrel associations to plan for the minstrel events.

“These annual cultural events resonate with families, loved ones and whole communities who make their way to the CBD - sometimes a few days ahead of the event, as in the case of the Tweede Nuwe Jaar celebration. They brave the elements to lend their support to the participating groups of minstrels made up of family members and friends from their neighbourhoods,” he said.

He called on all associations to work together and put on a brilliant show unique to Cape Town.

“If anything, do it for the love of this significant cultural event and your families and friends who support you.”

Previously, allegations of financial mismanagement marred the annual minstrel march through the city.

The Minstrel Association said it was "highly concerning" that gang violence had once again flare up on the Cape Flats and could be using the minstrels' road marches and gatherings as a cover for their gang and criminal activities.

"The safety of our large membership and supporter base is of primary concern to us and we will work with the authorities to keep our events and gatherings safe over the festive season."

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town  |  culture  |  tourism

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