Uncertainty over ‘Tweede Nuwe Jaar’ celebrations

The City of Cape Town said on Monday it cannot guarantee that the annual minstrels carnival parade will take place next Saturday.

The city did not have the authority to approve the new date proposed by the carnival committee, said Mayor Patricia de Lille.

“The city’s events permit office received a request for consideration to change the date; however, it is subject to legal requirements,” she said in a statement.

The committee moved the event, also known as Tweede Nuwe Jaar (Second New Year), from the original date of January 3 to January 5 for religious reasons. However, it later postponed it again for “logistical reasons”.

“The parade is postponed to Saturday, January 10,” Committee President Richard Stemmet said earlier in a statement.

He said the parade could not be held on Monday, because this was the first working day of the year and buses were not available to transport people.

He said there was also no venue for VIPs.

“The area we used to host the VIPs is used for parking and the owners have indicated that it will not be available on Monday,” said Stemmet.

De Lille said in November that the city and the province had signed an agreement with the newly-formed Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee.

In discussions with the city, associations and boards allied to the Cape Town Minstrels Carnival events and competitions had indicated that they believed they were well-aligned and ready to organise the events themselves.

“They requested that the city play a supportive role, as in previous years, rather than a co-ordinating role…. It is their own doing that the event is not taking place,” said De Lille.

She said the city had already given the committee R2-million to organise the events, along with city support services valued at R1.65-million, and that the province had given the committee a total of R2.35-million.

“The responsibility rests solely with them to ensure that the events take place and that the money is used to ensure that the events take place successfully,” she said, adding that the city could not be blamed for the postponements.–Sapa

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