Anthony Benadie MPL
DA Provincial Leader and Spokesperson on Culture, Sport and Recreation:
The DA condemns the ANC’s short sighted and irresponsible statement of calling on the Provincial Government to boycott the cultural festival – Innibos.
The Provincial Government is not the ANC, and legislative processes and forums exist, through which government can be held accountable for their decisions and government spending.
On Tuesday morning, the ANC in Mpumalanga held a press conference in Mbombela were they called on government, the province and the Mbombela municipality, to boycott the annual Innibos Festival in Mbombela (Nelspruit). They said “they believe that the Arts Festival is in contradiction with building a non-racial and united nation.”
This is most certainly not the case, and The Innibos Festival, a private initiative has in years past gone to great lengths to diversify the festival and host an inclusive event.
The ANC have based their assertions on the incident last year, when Steve Hofmeyer sang unannounced ‘Die Stem’. The organisers of the event could not predict the actions of Hofmeyer, and it is our understanding that he has not been invited to the 2015 event.
However, this event is a major economic injection into the Lowveld. The event brings an estimated R18 million which benefits all communities around Mbombela and a boycott of the festival will only serve to hurt communities that benefit from this initiative.
To boycott the event will be short sighted by the ANC. This event is known as a welcoming cash investment in the local economy and has always opened its doors to all racial and cultural groups.