Bring on the ar­tis­ts! W­hat ar­tis­ts? Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty ne­ar­ly blows R750 000 for ‘ho­li­day mu­sic e­vent’ with no per­for­mers – be­fo­re ho­li­day com­men­ces

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Nuus | News - Ya­seen Gaf­far

Knys­na Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty was on the ver­ge of splashing R750 000 on a one-day con­cert tou­ted as a “cul­tu­ral co­he­si­on mu­sic e­vent” on 8 De­cem­ber, but wit­hout ha­ving con­fir­med that any of the ar­tis­ts we­re a­vai­la­ble for the e­vent. As it turns out, t­hey we­re not.

The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty’s Youth Desk told coun­cil that ar­tis­ts such as DJ Ti­ra and Naak­mu­siQ we­re a­vai­la­ble, but ac­cor­ding to a ser­vi­ce pro­vi­der who in­ten­ded to bid for the ten­der, w­hen he en­qui­red a­bout the a­vai­la­bi­li­ty of the na­ti­o­nal ar­tis­ts at A­fro­tai­n­ment he was told that the ar­tis­ts we­re al­re­a­dy book­ed el­se­w­he­re and are u­na­vai­la­ble on

8 De­cem­ber.

The ser­vi­ce pro­vi­der as­ked not to be na­med due to fe­ar of victi­mi­sa­ti­on.

“I was told that, un­for­tu­na­te­ly, the ar­tis­ts are not a­vai­la­ble on the pro­po­sed da­te,” he sta­ted.

Pu­blic out­cry

Pu­blic out­cry on so­ci­al me­dia, fol­lo­wed by a de­ci­si­on by acting mu­ni­ci­pal ma­na­ger John­ny Doug­las to wit­h­draw the ten­der and can­cel the e­vent, fu­el­led spe­cu­la­ti­on that Knys­na es­ca­ped spen­ding an exor­bi­tant a­mount of mo­ney wit­hout pro­per pre­pa­ra­ti­on.

“On­ce it be­ca­me cle­ar that cer­tain bid spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons for the mu­sic fes­ti­val’s ten­der we­re not in ac­cor­dan­ce with our sup­ply chain re­gu­la­ti­ons, our acting MM im­me­di­a­te­ly wit­hdrew the ten­der,” Knys­na ma­yor Mark Wil­lem­se ex­plai­ned in a sta­te­ment re­le­a­sed last week.

The e­vent was mar­ke­ted as a fes­ti­val that would in­cre­a­se the lo­cal e­co­no­mic foot­print and es­ta­blish a “youth de­ve­lop­ment cul­tu­re” in the G­re­a­ter Knys­na a­rea. The mo­ti­va­ti­on sub­mit­ted by the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty sta­ted: “The fact that we will be a­ble to host t­his e­vent o­ver the De­cem­ber ho­li­days will add to the in­cre­a­sed spen­ding o­ver the fe­s­ti­ve se­a­son. The ti­ming of the e­vent me­ans it will be­ne­fit from the s­chool ho­li­days, the re­turn of the P­lett Ra­vers as well as y­e­ar-end bo­nus pa­youts.”

Ad­ver­ti­sed be­fo­re coun­cil de­ci­si­on

But, in fact, schools on­ly c­lo­se on 12 De­cem­ber, which me­ans the e­vent would ha­ve been hos­ted be­fo­re and not du­ring the ho­li­days. And despi­te the gre­at out­lay for the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, the com­mu­ni­ty for w­hom the con­cert was plan­ned would ha­ve still had to pay an en­tran­ce fee.

Furt­her­mo­re, a ten­der to or­ga­ni­se the e­vent was al­re­a­dy ad­ver­ti­sed, and a pre­fer­red bid­der i­den­ti­fied, pri­or to any coun­cil de­ci­si­on on the mat­ter.

The ten­der do­cu­ment sta­ted the re­quest for se­ver­al tents, 250 white co­ve­r­ed chairs, va­ri­ous plat­ters of food, 400 ca­ses of car­bo­na­ted drinks and bott­led wa­ter – all for VIPs who may not be char­ged for their tic­kets and would be in­vi­ted by the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty.

Ex­pen­ses of one-day e­vent

A b­re­ak­do­wn of the so­me of the ex­pen­ses are as fol­lows:

Eig­ht na­ti­o­nal ar­tis­ts to be paid a­mounts ran­ging from R55 000 (DJ Ti­ra) to R20 000 (Pax­ton) for their per­for­man­ce. The to­tal cos­ts just for the ar­tis­ts a­mount to R220 000. A lo­cal per­for­ming ar­tist: R50 000 Sound, sta­ge and lig­hting: R150 000 Cro­wd con­t­rol and se­cu­ri­ty: R70 000 Mar­ke­ting of the e­vent: R50 000 So­ci­al pro­gram­mes and pro­jects which would run in con­juncti­on with the e­vent, such as a di­sa­bi­li­ty pro­gram­me, a Young Wo­man i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve, and a re­no­va­ti­on pro­ject to na­me a few, would cost a to­tal of R150 000.

‘Youth Desk wor­ked al­o­ne’

“It is a pi­ty that the Youth Desk had wor­ked al­o­ne on t­his pro­ject. I must rei­te­ra­te that, despi­te w­hat rumour­mon­gers mig­ht be­lie­ve, no coun­cil­lors, nor se­ni­or ma­na­ge­ment we­re a­wa­re of the ex­tent of t­his plan­ned mu­sic fes­ti­val. On­ce coun­cil­lors be­ca­me a­wa­re of the cos­ts and ot­her con­di­ti­ons, t­hey rai­sed their con­cerns which led to the re­vi­si­ting of the ten­der do­cu­ments,” re­ads the sta­te­ment from Wil­lem­se.

The mat­ter was an i­tem for dis­cus­si­on du­ring a spe­ci­al coun­cil meet­ing on 6 No­vem­ber, and was op­po­sed by se­ver­al DA coun­cil­lors, in­clu­ding Wil­lem­se who sta­ted that “R750 000 for a sin­gle e­vent was an exor­bi­tant a­mount of mo­ney”.

Coun­cil­lor E­le­a­nor Bouw-S­pies ex­pres­sed si­mi­lar sen­ti­ments, whil­st coun­cil­lor Do­no­van Po­f­ad­der cau­ti­o­ned a­gainst the ro­w­dy cro­wds and pu­blic drin­king be­fo­re men­ti­o­ning an in­ci­dent e­ar­lier t­his y­e­ar w­he­re a young wo­man was in­vol­ved in an ac­ci­dent upon re­tur­ning ho­me from a si­mi­lar mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty-or­ga­ni­sed e­vent.

I­ma­ge: knys­

A “cul­tu­ral co­he­si­on mu­sic e­vent” that was plan­ned for 8 De­cem­ber would ha­ve cost the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty R750 000.

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