Less than a week was left before the start of the annual Tweede Nuwe Minstrel parade when the African National Congress in the province of Western Cape asked the Minister of Arts and Culture to increase funds for the carnival.
The ANC Western Cape secretary, Faaz Jacobs, said the event should receive the same cultural recognition, protection and financial support as the annual Zulu-reed dance.The parade that attracts thousands of spectators to Mother City has been marred by political unrest and the struggle for funding in recent years.
In a statement, Jacobs said that the recognition by the state “will bring greater unity to organizations representing minstrels and organizing a festival belonging to the Cape Town colored community”.
He blamed the Democratic Alliance, which controls the city, in an attempt to accommodate the event and said that its legacy must be protected.
“Recently, the DA-controlled city of Cape Town, managed by advisor J.P. Smith tried to control this festival, rename it, calling it the Cape Town Parade, and also colonize it, ” Jacobs said. Two competing minstrels associations, the Minstrels Carnivals Association in Cape Town and the Kaapse Klops Carnivals Association were recently involved in litigation about the use of Athlone stadium for minstrels. Both KKKA and CTMCA applied to Cape Town for permission to use the Athlone stadium on January 2, 2019.
On Thursday, the CTMCA withdrew its application in court. Jacobs said that the “official recognition” of this event would end the rebellion.
“We want unity and official recognition of our traditions and heritage, so that politicians cannot manipulate them,” he said. “Every year we see how organizations that organize minstrel festivals play against each other for political purposes. DA should stop dividing our people”