Province and City joins forces to promote Minstrels | Western Cape Government


Province and City joins forces to promote Minstrels

22 November 2010

A new plan to preserve, develop and grow the Cape minstrel heritage and associated events was announced by the Provincial Government and City of Cape Town today.

The plan involves pooling resources and expertise for certain events on the annual minstrel calendar, improving event management skills, and growing the event into a world class feature that can eventually compare with the famous carnivals in Brazil, the New Orleans Mardi Gras, the Trinidad Carnival and other similar events.

The joint funding and resources between the province and city goes towards logistical and staging costs, training and municipal services such as traffic management, area clean-ups, emergency, safety and security services.

The proposed joint plan will be discussed with representatives of the various minstrel organisations. It is hoped that this will ultimately lead to a long-term agreement on the relationship between the two spheres of government and those of the minstrel groups. The aim of the joint plan is to maximise efficiency, resources, synergy and to improve the sustainability of the events by growing expertise.

Once the events reach this level, it could attract revenue from sponsors and other rights holders.

"This is a serious commitment by the Province and the City to support something that forms a vital part of Cape heritage, "says Dr Ivan Meyer, Provincial Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

"We respect the history and culture of the minstrel groups and the Malay and Christmas choirs. The time has come to take the event to a different level of organisation and professionalism. Only by investing in expertise, experience and sound operations will we ensure that the minstrel events attract commercial and more spectator interest," said Meyer.

"The minstrels, choirs, marches and performances are hallmarks of Cape Town," said Executive Mayor, Dan Plato. It brings together communities and performers who are passionate about this legacy and provides a unique and colourful spectacle for residents and tourists from across the country and the world. This is why the Province and the City are joining forces to improve and sustain the minstrel events. As this is to be done with public money, the funding will come with conditions and responsibilities. We believe that government and the minstrels can work together to attain these goals," said Mayor Plato.

Media Enquiries: 

Greg Wagner
Media Liaison Officer to Dr Ivan Meyer
Cell: 072 623 4499
Provincial Government Western Cape

Pieter Cronjé
Director: Communication
Cell: 082 465 4965
City of Cape Town