Organisations taking part in the traditional New Year’s Eve Minstrel and Choir Parade have accused the City of Cape Town of excluding them in the planning of the annual events.

The chairperson of the Suid Afrikaanse Koorraad, Patrick Brink, says they were not part of the meeting with the City that decided to change the dates to December 30 and January 4 instead of the New Year’s Eve and January 2.

Brink says they feel they are now being forced to break with the tradition.

“There’s not much we can do, this is what the people of the Cape Flats look forward to all year. Unfortunately we will have to go out on these revised dates given by the City because teams have gone out booked bands, buses, paid for uniforms and clothing. We cannot say now we not going to take part.”

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says the City of Cape Town has engaged the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association and the Cape Malay Choir Board during the permit application process for the Tweede Nuwejaar Street Parade and the Malay Choir Road March.

Smith says the events are taking part on the dates originally applied for by the organisers.

The parades will now take place on December 30 and January 4 instead of the New Year’s Eve and January 2.

Smith says in terms of the agreement with the organisers, the road march events are open to all the Minstrels troops.

He says “Interested parties need to engage with the respective organisations. The City of Cape Town’s role is to enable the event by assisting with financial support and ensure the organisation meet all the legislative requirements. The event’s organisers are responsible for communicating with all relevant parties with regard to the event and choosing event dates and other logistical details.”