The Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Limakatso Mahasa, added the opposition parties – mainly the DA – do not understand and realise the importance of the local economic boost that this event gives to the province.
This as the DA is of the view that the annual festival does not benefit the provincial government but instead it’s just a money-laundering scheme benefiting only the politically connected.
OFM News previously reported that premier, Sisi Ntombela, during her State of the Province Address said the event will now start to incorporate different cultures, races and genders within the province.
“We will explore some of the creative ideas to grow this festival which young people suggested in my recent engagement with them. We will host Macufe to celebrate our identity,” she said. “This festival that attracts about 18 000 visitors to Mangaung will serve as a medley of instilling diversity,” Ntombela further said. Mahasa also says her department will continue to connect various races, genders, cultures, and religions in the drive to instil social cohesion in the province. The event has also been fiercely criticised for ignoring local artists over international stars and paying thousands of rands to this artist but allegedly failed to incorporate these local artists in this event.
In 2018 then DA’s spokesperson on Public Accounts and Finance, David van Vuuren, the department has in the past years not had much of a return on investment from the contract they have signed with the company that organises this festival – C Squared – despite the millions they have to cough up in their service level agreement with the company. Van Vuuren told OFM News that the department’s 2017/18 audit outcomes that were tabled last week at the Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts, painted a bleak picture and is a cause for concern. He said the company has in the past year alone been paid R47 million to manage the event, without the department benefitting from money collected at the gates or from sponsors.
LUCKY NKUYANE / OFM News