Statement by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille City dismayed at postponement of annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar parade 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 agreement. 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 today. 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.