This festive season promises to be a fun and busy season for residents and visitors to Buffalo City Metro alike, as the metro has invested millions of rands in entertainment events.
This year’s budget allocation has seen a number of increases, some popular events have experienced cuts, while other allocations have remained the same.
The council also noted a number of new beneficiaries to be financially supported by the city.
As early as November 5 one of BCM’s new beneficiaries, the Unity Festival, will take place.
In a report tabled before council this week, mayor Xola Pakati said this gospel event was supported by BCM for the first time with R200000.
“This is a gospel show aimed at grooming local artists. The company [organisers] already had a number of gospel artists which they have groomed and their aim is to spread their wings for the benefit of the city,” Pakati said.
The big cash winners this year will be:
lThe Berlin November with a R1.2-million allocation; last year the annual traditional horse-racing event received R800000;
lThe popular Buyel’Ekhaya Pan-African Festival will receive R4-million, the same amount as last year;
lThe MetroFM Heatwave will receive R700000. Last year the event got R400000; and
lThe Count Down taking place on New Year’s Eve will receive R1.1-million. Last year it was R1-million.
At the council meeting DA and ANC councillors asked what informed some of the increments made, particularly the Berlin November event, with other ANC councillors shouting back: “it is the popularity”.
The metro’s sponsorship committee had already approved amounts up to R400000 which do not need council approval. The Mdantsane Summer Re-Union music festival taking place on December 27 will receive R300000, an increase of R100000 from last year’s amount.
A new Wine and Whisky Festival, to be held on November 11, will receive R200000.
Pakati said the event will be held for the first time in the city. “It involves wine and whisky tasting. This nature of event attracts adults only. There will be entertainment, exhibitions, cheese and wine and a light meal. This is a high-class event,” said Pakati, without revealing where it will be held.
The Cruel Summer Picnic event to be hosted in the city for the sixth time this year, received an allocation of R200000.
King William’s Town’s second annual Qonce Home Coming entertainment event was allocated R400000.
“This is an entertainment event which aims to close the gap during the festive season in King William’s Town. It creates an opportunity for local business to make a profit during this time.”
The London Roots event which will feature live music, and DJs as well as craft stalls, is also a first time beneficiary in BCM, and was allocated a R200000 sponsorship.
EFF’s councillor Nozibele Tshabe said:
“My worry here is how our people from the rural areas are not catered for, they can’t enjoy the festive season because here we are supposed to have an activity that involves traditional dancing, a food festival”.
However Pakati was quick to say Tshabe was out of order as the sponsorship process was done through the sponsorship policy in place.
ANC councillor Xolani Witbooi said: “I listened [to the] radio about the turnout of the events, including Buyel’Ekhaya and Count Down and other events. In terms of being busy, our city was rated number two in the country … the issue of applicants is an administrative matter, not a political matter [precisely] so that everybody can enter.” —firstname.lastname@example.org