BY BAKANG MOKOTO
Greater Taung Local Artists Forum organisation (GTLAF) said it is adamant that it will receive positive outcome from Mmabana Foundation management. The organisation submitted a memorandum to Mmabana Taung on Friday. The GTLAF chairperson, Modisaotsile Lebitse said they embarked on a march after local artists were excluded from prestigious Taung Cultural Calabash event.
“This is a matter of urgency and we demand answers. We, as GTLAF demand that our local artists be recognised for Taung Cultural Calabash event. We also demand urgent arrangement of transport to collect all local artists as they are ready to perform and explore their talents. The organisation also demand that the Mmabana Taung pay R10 000 to each soloist and R15 000 to groups that consist of more than one artist.
“There are artists who were allegedly not paid during last year’s edition. We demand new system to be used in organising the event. Our traditional leaders in our villages, forums representatives and community leaders need to be consulted two months prior the event. Taung Cultural Calabash event shall not be tendered to individuals too.
“We want to see our local communities benefiting from the event in terms of Local Economic Development (LED). There is no social responsibility from service provider and we demand plough back percentage,” Lebitse said.
Tsibogo Ya Taung Civic organisation shared the same sentiments. TYT coordinator, Goitseone Legodu said as a civic organisation, they support the interest of the community. Legodu further said the Greater Taung Local Artists Forum (GTLAF) has a point as far as Taung Cultural Calabash event is concern.
“We do not see economic growth and local artists do not get formal assessment from Mmabana Foundation. TYT also want to know how Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) implementation fits in this programme. We have structures like Local Economic Development (LED), but local service providers are constantly excluded.
“Our aim is to see every local service provider benefit from R3.1m injection. We understand that Taung Cultural Calabash is a provincial event as MEC for Culture, Art and Traditional Affairs department (CATA) Ontlametse Mochware said. However, the provincial government highlighted that 70% of its procurement will be dedicated to VTSD areas,” he said.
Legodu added that the security company appointed for the event is from Johannesburg. He said the sub-contract appointed, Khanyapr is also from Johannesburg too.
“The department has also not shed more light on the originality of companies providing stage, marquees and sound system. So, it is clear that event manager failed dismally to consult beneficiaries which are the community members of Taung.
“We want to know if the North West province at large does not have capabilities to provide that kind of services? How does provincial government will grow the economy of Taung while using service providers outside the province? We are crystal clear as Tsibogo Ya Taung Civic organisation that the event will not go ahead if our grievances are not addressed in terms of compliance,” he said.
Legodu further said they want Section 195 of the constitution to be implemented. He added that the constitution says the needs of the communities need to be properly addressed.
“It also states that all documents need to be disposed before us in terms of transparency. The company that is running the event is Molite which had a three year contract with the Mmabana Foundation. However, they are in their final year and we believe that it does not have the interest of Taung people at heart.
“We also want to know the strategy used to appoint all service providers regarding the calabash. Mahika Mahikeng event came after Taung Cultural Calabash, however it receives R16m budget. The Taung Cultural Calabash event receives a meagre R3.1m and people from Mahikeng still benefit from it,” Legodu outlines.
He said what kind of policies the provincial government has that guide the Taung Cultural Calabash, but fails to be implemented while running Mahika Mahikeng event. Legodu further said the provincial government shall always comply and implement transparency at all times.
“If VTSD vision is not implemented in this regard, then let the initiative be scrapped across all projects in Taung. The event was not properly planned because inter-governmental relations are non-existence in Taung. The organising company, Molite had a three year contract with Mmabana Foundation to organise the Taung Cultural Calabash. However, Mmabana Foundation interjected them last year for non-compliance.
“The company has never given any audit report for their programme. We wonder why the company is given any priority after failing to present an audit report. Mmabana Foundation terminated their contract, but they approached the court instead and won the case,” he said.
Legodu highlighted that the aim of the organising company was to be compensated.