Newly-appointed Mahika Mahikeng music festival service provider welcomed

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The business community in the North West has welcomed the appointment of a service provider that will run Mahika Mahikeng Cultural Music Festival.

The service provider has been appointed by the Department of Arts, Culture and Sports for a period of three years.

The event was put on hold since 2019 following an alleged flawed company selection process.

The cultural event will take place in March 17-19.

One of its aims is to bring economic development to the area, but budget for this year’s event has been reduced from R30 million to R10,5 million .

Government says this is mainly because they also need to focus on other priorities that need funding.

Head of the Department of Sports Arts and Culture Itumeleng Mogorosi says, “The department has allocated R10.5 million for Mahika Mahikeng for the current financial year.”

Mogorosi says this amount has been supplemented by R2.5 million from national government.

“…because it is a provincial flagship programme; historically Mahika Mahikeng had a R30 million budget, but as we know, due to the impact of COVID and reprioritisation of budget to cater for other requirements, that has declined but with the commencement of the programme, we need to do a complete business case for the budget to be increased over the three-year period.”

Business people have welcomed the appointment of the service provider, though they have some reservations.

Mogorosi says local artists will benefit from activation programmes that will take place soon.

“In terms of the artists, the programme is two-fold; we’ve got fringe stage for developing artists and we’ve got professional stage which will be our main stage. The local artists will benefit from district activation which will happen in the four districts of this province and in the fringe stage, which will be created on the day of the festival, and those that are semi-pro and ready to become professionals, a few of them will be provided with that platform of the bigger stage as part of that development.”