City allocates minstrel parade funding

The City has decided to leave out one of the most recognised minstrel boards this year.

The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA), one of Cape Town’s biggest minstrel boards, might be facing some major challenges after the City of Cape Town excluded them from this year’s minstrel funding.

A total of R6.1 million was allocated towards this year’s minstrel showpiece, with requests for funding having been received through the City’s event support application system and considered by the Special Events Committee.

But the City informed the CTMCA that they would not be supported this year, “due to requirements in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), the City’s Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy and the Municipal Finance Management Act”.

“Due to criminal convictions in terms of POCA held by board members of the CTMCA, the City cannot rent facilities, provide non-essential services or issue any permits to them,” said JP Smith, the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services.

It is believed that the CTMCA owes the City R442 692, which includes R142 629 in service costs and R300 000 in legal fees.

Mr Smith said: “They have to pay in accordance with the cost order awarded against the CTMCA by Judge Dennis Davis in the Western Cape High Court.”

He also confirmed that the CTMCA board members had Prevention of Organised Crime Act findings against them.

Last year, R4 million was handed to the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association, for the annual minstrel parade, despite the CTMCA having run the event for the past 19 years.

Mr Smith had previously said, in a statement issued to the media, that the City had informed the CTMCA in the past, that it would not give it funding as its chairperson at the time, Richard Stemmet, was allegedly involved in drug and criminal activity.

Mr Stemmet also owns the very popular Shoprite Pennsylvanians Crooning Minstrels, a team that has won a number of awards at the carnival over the years.

“The ongoing attempt by a couple of leadership figures in the CTMCA whose criminal records are now negatively impacting on the minstrels association of which they are part and their determination to gate-keep the progress of the minstrels, shows that it is these leadership figures of the CTMCA who are in fact behaving in a manner that insults the people of Cape Town and the various minstrel groups,” Mr Smith said.

Earlier this year, current CEO for the CTMCA, Kevin Momberg, used Facebook to share the following message: “The City will soon be making their decision of who will be operating the annual minstrel (klopse) street parade on the 2nd of January 2018. But no matter what happens, the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) will be part of the Parade to show Cape Town ‘hoe lyk a volvrag klopse march’.”

The Tatler made numerous attempts to get hold of Mr Momberg for comment, but had not been able to do so by the time this edition went to print.

Mr Stemmet also had no doubt about their participation in this year’s carnival. “We are 100% sure that come end of year, the Pennsylvanians will be marching through the streets of Cape Town, entertaining the crowds,” he said.

He, however, would not be drawn on the CTMCA’s omission from this year’s funding, saying only that talks were still under way.

“There is a process to follow and we have followed the process. There are still four months to go until the minstrel parade at the end of the year, so we still have the time to get things in order.

“A lot can still happen in that four months,” Mr Stemmet said. He also confirmed that meetings had been held with the troupes affiliated to the CTMCA and maintained: “We will be there at the end of year. We will march, come rain or shine.”

Of the R6.1 million the City has contributed towards this year’s minstrel carnival activities, R2 million in cash will go to the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association, as well as R1.7 million in support services towards their Tweede Nuwe Jaar minstrel parade, to be held on Tuesday January 2.

They will receive a further R422 000, to be used for their venue hiring costs during the competition phase of the carnival.

The Cape Malay Choir Board will receive R800 000 in cash funding and R300 000 in support services for their competition, to be held on Saturday March 30, totalling R1.1 million in funding from the City.

Other beneficiaries include the Cape District Minstrel Board, SA Koorraad, Keep the Dream and the South African United Christmas Bands, who are set to receive cash funding and support services from the City.

City-owned venues will be made available at no cost to the associations. This is the first year that the City has managed to finalise the allocation of funding months ahead of the minstrel and choir events.

“Early funding approvals are in line with the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan objectives to be a proactive and customer-centric organisation and to get on with the work of being the events capital of Africa,” said the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille.

“It will empower associations to plan better, seek additional funding, and grow more sustainable events in the future.”