Slim chance of CT minstrel carnival going ahead - KKKA

The minstrel parade is part of Cape Town's rich history - every January colourful troupes take over the streets, showcasing their choreography and vibrant costumes. The parade draws crowds of thousands of spectators, many of whom camp out for days to get the best view of the troupes.

FILE: A minstrel troupe makes its way through the Cape Town CBD. Picture: Bertram Malgas/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - COVID-19 has left Cape Town's annual minstrel carnival in limbo yet again.

The Tweede Nuwe Jaar event could not go ahead in January this year as a result of the second wave and was moved to June.

However, when 16 June arrived, amended lockdown regulations and a surge in infections resulted in the event being scrapped altogether.

And despite the vaccination drive having kicked off in South Africa, with millions of citizens having been inoculated, we asked minstrel groupings what the chances are that the much-anticipated carnival will go ahead come 2 January 2022.

The minstrel parade is part of Cape Town's rich history - every January colourful troupes take over the streets, showcasing their choreography and vibrant costumes.

The parade draws crowds of thousands of spectators, many of whom camp out for days to get the best view of the troupes.

And this aspect of large crowds poses a safety risk during a time of a pandemic.

"The first principle to understand here is that this is a large-format event with mass participation and furthermore we have in excess of 100,000 people coming into the city on the second of January to watch the event," Moeneeb Gambeno from the Kaapse Klopse Karnivaal Association said.

He said that the chances of it going ahead on 2 January 2022 were slim.

"With the fourth wave looming and the current restrictions, then it's common cause that there's a very slim chance of us having the event in the current form on the second of January," Gambeno said.

Gambeno remains hopeful that in the future the event can resume again.

"Hopefully we'll be able to have an event soon again - if it's 2 Janury 2022 or soon after we'll have to wait and see. Everything will depend on whether there's a fourth wave, when that fourth wave hits us and of course the permits that we require to host the event."

He said that they were having ongoing discussions with authorities to have the event subject to them being able to follow protocols, comply with permit restrictions, and to ensure the well-being of spectators.