Despite divided public opinion on the funding provided for minstrel events in the city of Cape Town by local government, the president of the Cape Malay Choir Board has said that it’s “too little”.
This week, the City of Cape Town announced it would be providing support and funding worth roughly R5.8 million for the 2020 Minstrel events. Further reports indicate that the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) is receiving R3.2 million of those funds, while the Cape Malay Choir Board is getting a total allocation of R1.1million.
“We thank the City for granting us a bit of the budget and for the confidence the City has had in us for the past few years – it’s highly appreciated,” said president The Cape Malay Choir Board, Shafiek April.
“Although, the funding is too little… if you take in the effective amount for a venue, it’s something like R553 000 because we can’t use the City Hall – it’s too small.”
April says that since the Cape Malay Choir Board has been unable to make use of the Good Hope Centre, they have had to look at expensive alternative venues such as the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
“Since we lost the Good Hope Centre, we have to scout around to get a suitable venue [but] there’s no suitable venue to accommodate our choirs.”
The annual Cape minstrel parade, known by many locals as Tweede Nuwe Jaar, has a long and rich history in the Mother City. Many locals regard it as a strong and significant tradition but recent public commentary on the allocation of funds for the events have reflected disapproval, with some saying that the funds would be more appropriately allocated to addressing the crisis of housing and development in the city.