City to host competition for displaced troupes

180102. The Annual Cape Town Street Parade formally known as 'Tweede Nuwe Jaar' takes place. Minstrels from parts of Cape Town put on a show wearing vibrant coloured outfits. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town will host a competition to accommodate displaced minstrel troupes on Sunday January 20 and Sunday January 27 at the Athlone Stadium.

This comes after troupes that belong to the Cape Town Minstrels Carnival Association (CTMCA) approached the City for assistance.

The City met with some of the members of the displaced troupes on Saturday January 12. The City then agreed to work with the individual troupes to host a minstrel’s competition which will allow them all to compete.

This is a practice that follows the annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar celebrations in the city centre. Minstrel troupes have competitions in their communities over the following weeks.

Some of the troupes have been unable to compete as the CTMCA is unable to comply with legislative requirements.

The City says it is unable to lease venues or issue permits to an association or events organiser that is non-compliant with events and other legislation.

Executive mayor Dan Plato said: “The annual minstrel events are an integral part of Cape Town’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and it allows communities to showcase this proud tradition. The City has always been supportive of minstrel events that are inclusive, compliant with legislation and hosted in the best interests of public safety. This is reflected in the fact that the minstrel associations receive the largest share of the City’s annual events budget.”

Mr Plato said the event will be for troupes “without a home.”

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, agreed, saying many young people have been preparing for the competitions and they would not want to see them being excluded.

“We are proud that we can assist the individual troupes as we know that many members have spent the whole year raising funds for their uniforms and many traders linked to the event have invested in their food and goods for their stall,” said Mr Smith.