DA concerned with cut of funding for Richmond Book Festival

By Harold McGluwa, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Sport, Arts and Culture:

The Democratic Alliance deeply concerned that the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) has decided to cut funding for the Richmond literary festival known as the Richmond Boekbedonnerd event.

The decision to cut funding from R200 000 to a mere R30 000 is nothing but a sheer disregard for the culture of literature and arts promotion in the province.

The believes this is in complete contrast to what MEC Motlhaping committed in his 2015/2016 budget speech in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature this year.

MEC Motlhaping said: “Events like the Diamond and Dorings Festival, Gariep Festival and the Kalahari Desert Festival will again be supported this year. Rural festivals will also be considered this year. This will also be done through the Northern Cape Arts and Culture Council”.

The Diamond and Dorings is known to be running at a loss despite receiving uncapped government funding.

Has the MEC and the department backtracked on their promises as is the norm.

The book festival draws hundreds of book lovers and festival fans from all corners of South Africa to listen to authors presenting their latest works and is a great tool for tourism and local economic development.

The DA will raise this issue when the department appear before the portfolio committee in the legislature and urge MEC Motlhaping to review the cut of funding for the event.