Not only is the Plett Tourism Association situation regarding the proposed bylaw still not clear, but it also happens that a lot of Plett Tourism’s main calendar events might have to be canned, and amongst those is the Plett ARTS Festival which runs yearly in winter during the months of June and July.
The tourism body has already called off the Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival for 2018 and has thereafter moved it to March 2019, citing budgetary constraints and financial repression from Bitou Municipality. As a result disappointing thousands of our visitors who frequent our town each year this time of the season.
Manager at Plett Tourism Cindy Wilson-Trollip is worried that should the municipality fail to inject cash soon enough, Plett won’t have an ARTS Festival. And what a disappointment that will be, just as when the four-year running festival was starting to pick up.
This year the festival saw big names gracing our shores, anti-apartheid activist and former constitutional court judge, Justice Albie Sachs, and veteran author and musician Koos Kumbuis.
Other big names included veteran radio DJ from SA FM and 702, Richard Nwamba, jazz maestro Pops Mohamed, and choreographer extraordinaire Mamela Nyamza.
From the local art scene, the festival gave an opportunity to many local artists to showcase their crafts, amongst those was Luxolo Ndabeni, a Plett born Joburg based theatre performer and TV actor, who was thrilled enough to create his own play called “Unravel” using local talent.
When projects such as the Plett ARTS Festival closes their doors due to lack of funding and visionary leadership from our local authorities, it is people like Luxolo who will suffer, it is their dreams that will be deferred, and their creative appetites shuttered.
Saving the Plett Tourism body is effectively saving all those whose lives, work, projects and sanity depends on it. There is more at stake, we just simply cannot kill the only institution that seems to be making sense in all of the fracas the town is embroiled in.