Statement by the City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Patricia de Lille City warns against Tweede Nuwejaar March being turned into political event The City of Cape Town has warned the leadership of the two biggest minstrel associations – the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) and the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) – against turning this weekend’s Tweede Nuwejaar Minstrels Carnival into a political event. This comes after media reports claimed that some minstrels would wear Nelson Mandela armbands with an ANC logo during the Tweede Nuwejaar parade on Saturday 4 January 2014, and that ANC Provincial Chairman, Marius Fransman, would be named patron of the annual event. The City has no problem with troupes marching in whatever colour they choose or wearing Nelson Mandela armbands in memory of our former statesman, who was also a proud patron of the Cape Minstrels, but to have the ANC logo on the band is not an option that the City or I would support as it would result in making politics out of a cultural tradition. The City has also advised the minstrel associations that the selection of and the announcement of Mr Fransman as patron be clarified in terms of whether he does so in his capacity as leader of the ANC in the Western Cape or whether he is doing so in his capacity as Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. I must emphasise that the City of Cape Town will not fund a cultural parade if it is going to be turned into a political event. Last week, as part of our commitment to building an inclusive city, we reached an amicable agreement with minstrel associations to ensure that the upcoming Cape Annual Minstrel Carnival is a success. At the meeting, it was agreed that: Minstrel associations will participate in the event management of upcoming Minstrel Carnival events Next year (2014/15) the associations will be the overarching event organisers of the Cape Annual Minstrel Carnival The City of Cape Town will assist with competitions at venues such as the Athlone Stadium, Vygieskraal, Florida Park and Delft There will be a single VIP area to ensure that all VIPs related to the minstrels are in the same area The associations and the City met today (30 December 2013) to finalise the logistical arrangements for the New Year’s Eve Malay Choir ‘nagtroepe’ March and the Tweede Nuwejaar Event on Saturday. All parties were satisfied with arrangements for both events. The leadership of the two associations have subsequently agreed that the ANC logo would be removed from the armbands and that troupes participating would instead be given plain black armbands with an image of Nelson Mandela. The City provides R3,5 million worth of logistical and support services such as traffic control, safety and security, law enforcement, and cleansing to ensure that the annual Minstrel Carnival is controlled and managed in the best interests of the Minstrel groups, spectators and the city as a whole. In addition to this, the Western Cape Government provides approximately R2 million for transportation costs of all minstrels groups, Malay Choirs and Christmas Bands.