What a shame that the many visitors to Cape Town missed out on one of the city’s annual and unique highlights over the Festive Season. The ‘Tweede Nuwe Jaar’ Minstrel march traditionally takes place on 2 January, but was postponed to 5 January (originally cancelled due to religious reasons, but then delayed again due to lack of parking, bus transport, and VIP seating), and then to 10 January (but this date clashed with the ANC 103rd birthday celebrations held in Cape Town, at which some Minstrel troupes participated). Now the date of the Minstrel march appears to be set for Saturday 17 January, a date on which a minimal number of local and international tourists will still be in Cape Town!
In the last few years the minstrel parade association representatives have squabbled with the City of Cape Town, which wanted to get involved with the organisation of the Minstrel march. Rival minstrel march associations fought with each other, and the City’s involvement was resented. Late last year the City and the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee agreed that the City would provide funding of R 2 million, and would provide support services in kind to the value of R1,65 million, but would not be involved organisationally. The Western Cape province added another R2,35 million to the Minstrel association coffers.
Mayor Patricia de Lille expressed her dissatisfaction with the date delays of the Minstrel march, especially given the City’s funding, demanding detailed financial accountability of the monies spent. The City’s events permit office has to approve the date for the event, which is ‘subject to legal requirements’, she said in a statement. ‘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‘ added the Mayor.
City of Cape Town Councillor Brett Herron met with the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee last week, in his capacity as Acting Executive Mayor. He said: ‘We can confirm that they have applied for the annual minstrel parade to take place on 17 January 2015; however, there are still some outstanding event plans and legislative requirements. The committee, which is responsible for managing the event, has agreed to address all of the outstanding legal requirements and submit all necessary plans by close of business on Monday 12 January 2015′.
Despite these two deadline dates having passed, there has been no confirmation of the Minstrel march taking place on Saturday!