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Kramat festival cancelled due to drought

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Organisers of the popular Shaykh Yusuf Kramat Festival in Faure have made a “difficult” decision to cancel this year’s event due to the current drought. More than 5 000 Cape Muslims attend the religious and cultural event every year, to pay their respects to Shaykh Yusuf of Macassar and to support the fundraising efforts of the Nurul Latief Islamic Association.

Organisers say they had no choice but to pull the plug on the event, as the water crisis facing the Western Cape is critical. Ebrahim Peters from the Nurul Latief Islamic Association said it would be inappropriate to continue with the festival in light of the severe water restrictions facing residents. There will be no camping, stalls or entertainment allowed on site.

“There is a sensitivity that all Capetonians, including faith based organisations like ourselves must display during this period. As responsible Muslims, we must be at the forefront to set the example regarding saving water at all times, particularly more so now,” said Peters.

Peters said the mosque would have incurred major costs for the increase in water consumption in addition to the cost of sewage removal services over a public holiday period, if the event went ahead.

“We are not in a position to carry such costs,” he said.

“For health and hygiene reasons, should the event continue over the weekend, the water supply will be adversely affected.”

The organisers are planning to host a similar event after the predicted rainfall months over the long weekend from 21 to 24 September, known as Heritage Day weekend.

“This is in any case in line with our vision to move our annual fundraiser to later in the year in anticipation that Ramadan will be falling over Easter within the next few years.”

This is the first time the event has been cancelled in 30 years, since the Nurul Latief Islamic Association has been hosting it. The exception has been Ramadan or if the camping site has been flooded due to heavy rain.

“We want to sincerely thank all those who loyally support our annual event and trust they will equally support us in this decision, inshaAllah.” VOC

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