Cape Town’s famous Tweede Nuwe Jaar celebrations that was rescheduled for 16 June has been cancelled due to Covid-19.
This is a double blow for the troupes who had already postponed the traditional January parade usually held on the second day of the new year.
They have their sights set on January 2022 now.
“The truth of the matter is we simply can’t hold this event,” said Muneeb Gambeno, a director of the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association.
“We’ve decided to cancel it.”
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced new Disaster Management Act regulations as some provinces had entered a third wave of Covid-19 – these included an earlier curfew and a reduction on the number of people permitted at gatherings.
The decades-long traditional march through the CBD is marked by dancers, troubadours, acrobats and baton twirlers, who perform a mixture of old and new tunes as they wend their way through the city.
This year’s performance for January had already been affected as the second wave of Covid-19 took its toll. All planned stadium competitions were also called off.
It was then postponed to 16 June.
The association also threatened to expel troupes and minstrels who defied the ban on competitions and road marches until further notice.
The parade organisers had hoped last year that the pandemic would have subsided by the new date.
The Western Cape health department stated that the province was seeing a resurgence in cases, but not a third wave yet.
It urged compliance to the recommended measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as the vaccination programme got under way.
“With the third wave of Covid-19 and very low numbers of people vaccinated, we can’t do it,” said Gambeno.
“The reality is the world is in a state of flux at the moment.”
Gambeno said his heart went out to the young troupes, especially, who looked forward to the event every year.
“It keeps the youngsters engaged in the community. It allows them to dream,” said Gambeno, who entertains with the Mitchells Plain All Stars.
Between 35 and 50 troops come from as far afield as Wellington to participate.
Their carefully designed and tailored uniforms would have to be packed away for now.
The routes of the marches are traditionally lined by families who camp for days on the pavement to get the best viewing points.
This meant that the small traders on the parade’s sidelines would also lose out on the boost in income the parade usually provided them.
“We decided not to postpone to September. We are aiming to come back in January 2022,” said Gambeno.