Statement by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille parade

Statement by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille
City dismayed at postponement of annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar
The City of Cape Town wants to reiterate that we have done all we can to
support the annual minstrel parade events and have kept to our end of the
We have had numerous meetings with the Cape Cultural and Carnival
Committee to ensure that all logistics and plans were in place to ensure a
successful event.
Up until yesterday, 4 January 2015, we were under the impression that the
event was going ahead as planned.
To cancel the parade at the last minute causes a major inconvenience to so
many people, including many supporters who have already gathered along
the route to watch and support the minstrels.
We were informed via media reports on Sunday that the annual minstrel
parade was postponed and only received official notification today.
To say that the City has not been supporting the committee, or that the date
change was made for the City, is not true and completely disingenuous of
the committee.
City officials have met with the committee numerous times over the past few
weeks and we have done all we can to support them.
On 23 December 2014, following a meeting between the City and the Cape
Cultural and Carnival Committee, we agreed on a date change to 5
January 2015 in order to respect the religious significance of the original date
of 3 January.
There was agreement on this and a joint statement was issued by the City
and the City and the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee.
The City committed to assist with new logistical arrangements that were
required and these logistics were in place for the parade to take place
On 30 December 2014, the City again met with the committee where they
requested additional funding for transport for the troupes. They requested
R400 000 for the transport and an additional R600 000 to pay the bands an
appearance fee.
As the City has already provided funding to the committee which was
approved through our various processes and in line with the Municipal
Finance Management Act, we agreed that we could only allocate R385 000.
The committee accepted and thanked the City for this offer in writing.
This offer also meant that the additional R385 000 for transport had to be
reallocated from the R1,65 million budget for other City services.
Regarding the latest proposed date change, the City is not in position to
decide on a new date as we are not the competent authority.
The City’s events permit office received a request for consideration to
change the date; however it is subject to legal requirements.
In November 2014, the City along with the Western Cape Government,
signed a historical agreement with the newly formed Cape Cultural and
Carnival Committee which would guide the way forward and to ensure
successful annual events.
The agreement states that they as the committee are the event organisers
and that it is their responsibility to ensure that all relevant preparations are in
place for the events to take place successfully.
It is their own doing that the event has not taken place.
After many discussions with the City and at the request of the associations
and boards allied to the Cape Town Minstrels Carnival events and
competitions, they were of the view that 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 coordinating role and we have done so.
The City has already given the committee a sum of R2 million to organise the
events, along with City support services valued at R1,65 million; while the
Western Cape Government also gave the committee a total of R2,35 million.
The committee also receives funding from the National Lotteries Board and
the National Government and they need to start accounting for the funding.
The responsibility rests solely with them to ensure that the events are a success
and that the money is used for its intended purposes.
To blame the City in any way for the cancellation of the parade today is a
blatant lie.
In November there was agreement and confidence that the minstrels would
organise their own event.
They are responsible for procuring all services and ensuring that these services
are secured in time for the event.
The City has kept to our end of the agreement and fulfilled our responsibilities,
but the committee has failed hopelessly in their responsibilities.