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‘Money not enough’: minstrels

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Minstrels who form part of the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) has welcomed the Western Cape government’s decision to pledge R2.37 million towards the running of the city’s annual year end and New Year’s festivities. As part of an agreement with the newly established Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee (CCCC), government is also expected to hand over management of the various minstrel and choir events to the CCCC.

The committee will now be tasked with the fundraising, management, and organization of the several end of year festivals. This includes the Christmas Choir Bands March, usually held on Christmas Eve, the Malay Choir “Nagtroupe” March on New Year’s Eve, and the annual Tweede Nuwejaar minstrel celebrations.

CTMCA CEO, Kevin Momberg, hailed a ‘historic agreement’ on the part of the city’s respective choir and minstrel groups. The deal comes in light of the annual battles minstrels have been forced to engage in with the City of Cape Town, in regards to funding, and the hosting of the festivals.

The agreement has also brought about the formation of the CCCC, which will serve as a unified body for the minstrel, Cape Malay, and Christmas choirs. The newly formed committee will be tasked with the management, and fund raising for the annual events. This uniformity is in contrast to previous years, where choirs and minstrels have often clashed with the City over the hosting of the festivities.

With the Western Cape government having pledged a sizable amount in terms of financial support, Momberg said those funds would be channeled into various organizational costs, rather than being divided between the respective groupings. Funds would go to areas such as transport of the choirs, fencing at the venue, medical services, and security amongst others. However, he stressed that even with the assistance; they were still short of funds to cover all the logistical costs.

“The money definitely isn’t enough, but it will help contribute towards the hosting of the event. We are happy that things like this are starting to get into shape, because at the end of the day we are just trying to producing the entertainment for the people, which has become part of our heritage here in Cape Town,” he said.

Momberg said the ultimate goal would be to the CCCC become less reliant on funds from the City and Western Cape government, instead being self sustainable in its hosting of the events.

“We don’t want to just rely on the City. We want the big corporates to assist us by putting us in a position where we can produce something, and have it there supporting itself for years to come,” he explained.

Any businesses or individuals seeking to provide financial assistance towards the Cape minstrels may visit the CTMCA website at www.capetown-minstrels.co.za. Alternatively you can contact them via email at capetownminstrels@telkomsa.net. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)


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