Minstrels’ finances to be audited

Copy of ca P1 Shoprite Pensylvinians 4033 INDEPENDENT MEDIA Waleed Wallace of the Shoprite Pennsylvanians performs in Darling Street during the Tweede Nuwejaar carnival. Picture: Cindy Waxa

Cape Town - For the first time in its 150 year history, the minstrels’ associations will hand over their financial records to city council officials in a weekend that saw the annual Tweede Nuwejaar parade marred by accusations of sabotage and incompetence.

The minstrel associations have agreed to hand over audited financial statements relating to all expenditure on the parade.

The annual march through the city centre has been plagued by accusations of financial mismanagement in the past.

This year’s march started after a more than four-hour delay.

It sparked a war of words between the minstrel associations and city council officials.

Around 600 security officials are required to control the crowd at the event, but by noon on Saturday, not all of them had arrived.

Cape Carnival Minstrel Association chief executive Kevin Momberg believes the city council was trying to sabotage the event by “employing delaying tactics”.

“I believe the city council wants us to look incompetent. They have an agenda.”

According to Momberg, the city council insisted on all 600 guards reporting to the CBD by 7am on Saturday morning, which, Momberg said, was not possible due to transport problems.

“By 12 o’clock we had about 350 guards but the city council wouldn’t let us disperse them before all were present.

“We wanted to start, and station the guards at later points of the walk as they arrived but the city council point-blank refused.”

However, City of Cape Town Special Events Committee chairman Garreth Bloor said the presence of security guards at the start of the march was a legal requirement.

“The requirement for security before beginning the event is from SAPS, who give the event organiser the permission to start the event.”

Director and Co-founder of the Santam D6 Entertainers, Malick Laattoe said he didn’t believe the city council was dedicated to the annual event.

“There needs to be more proactive participation from the city council.”

Laattoe said the decreasing budget given to organisers of the event caused problems in the running of the march.

“People blame us for the problems in the event, but of course if you minimise the budget there will be insufficiencies.”

Momberg said the city council had not provided for proper support infrastructure at the march, with insufficient toilet facilities and water access.

“The city council does not respect our communities.

“We had to pay for all the services. We received no assistance, only roadblocks.

iman.latief@inl.co.za

Cape Argus

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