Cape Times

Budget constraint­s sink popular SA Navy festival

- Lisa Isaacs

THE SA Navy has cited the dwindling of budget allocation­s for its decision to cancel its popular annual Navy Festival.

SA Navy spokespers­on Sam Khasuli said it had become increasing­ly difficult in recent years for the SA Navy to host the festival or participat­e in events to which it gets invited, including the Transnet National Ports Authority festivals, the Knysna Festival and others.

“The organisati­on is beset with the dwindling of yearly budget allocation­s.

“It is presumed that budget allocation­s would not increase in the foreseeabl­e future.”

The decision has been taken to allow the SA Navy to commit its already depleted budget on the core business of defending and protecting the South African maritime zone.

The family-friendly event, which was often held over a weekend either in March or April, afforded the public a first-hand experience of what the SA Navy is about, its platforms and personnel.

It also provided businesses and individual­s with an opportunit­y for a significan­t economical boost in that they could avail their resources to the general public that flooded Simon’s Town in droves over the three days. The SA Navy is confronted with a conundrum of operating optimally with the current budget, resulting in the Naval Command Council taking a decision not to host this year’s festival.

SA Navy chief Vice-Admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane said: “Despite the budgetary challenges we are confronted with, we must therefore work harder and smarter – doing more with less, and now more than ever, we need to challenge traditiona­l constructs, employing innovation to propel our Navy into the future.”

The non-hosting of the Navy Festival is not indefinite.

The SA Navy will continue exploring viable options to circumvent budgetary constraint­s, such as hosting the festival every second year or in any other port. Future decisions pertaining to the festival and related matters will be communicat­ed, Khasuli said.

The SA Navy apologised to all its key stakeholde­rs for the inconvenie­nce caused.

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 ?? Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency/ANA ?? PROUD: The SA Navy demonstrat­ed its mast display at the festival.
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency/ANA PROUD: The SA Navy demonstrat­ed its mast display at the festival.

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