The Sports, Arts and Culture Department is facing further public backlash over its plan to set up a R30 million national orchestra.
The department has reportedly earmarked R30 million for the establishment of a national philharmonic orchestra, which is due to be announced on Thursday.
Details of the plan were released in a Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra Report 2021/2022 unveiled.
Bongani Tembe, CEO of Mzansi Orchestra, said about Power 98.7 that the orchestra would benefit musicians.
“The idea of a national orchestra is not new to S.A. We are revitalizing the National Orchestra.
“The implementation and establishment of the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra recognizes the unique opportunity that the National Orchestra represents for the transformation of orchestral music in South Africa,” said Tembe.
According to the Daily Maverick, the creation of a national philharmonic orchestra was included in the revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage approved by the Cabinet in August 2018.
The White Paper stated the department’s intention to establish “national theater, dance and orchestral companies with youth components, each resident in a different one Province, cross-subsidised by national, provincial and metro funds.”
In a speech on CapeTalk, Louis Heyneman, CEO of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, said the project was unnecessary.< /span >
The country already had too many training pro programs that encourage young musicians.
“We can’t afford it and we don’t need it. I think it’s folly, a personal folly on the part of [Minister] Nathi Mthethwa.”
He said the plan was a waste of money and called it “orchestral revenue”.
“There are no auditions done. They just invite anyone on their player list. They randomly invite players to come and play for this orchestra. It’s a total duplication and a waste of money.”
The R30m proposal comes after Mthethwa plans to spend R22m on a 100m high ‘monumental’ flag in May.
The ministry had budgeted R22 million for installing the flag as part of its national monumental flag project and said the flag would serve as a national landmark and tourist attraction.
The installation of the flag was estimated at R17 million, while geotechnical studies cost an additional R5 million.
The project was funded by Congress of SA Trade labeled a “vanity project” unions and subject to review amid public uproar.
On social media, many expressed mixed feelings Reactions to the proposal.< /p>
Here is a snapshot of some reactions:
Support independent journalism by subscribing to The Sunday Times. Only 20 R for the first month.