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Festival cancelled for three years

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A tender briefing that was supposed to take place on Tuesday never took place, where potential bidders were informed that the festival was cancelled

Diamonds and Dorings Festival. File image.

THE DIAMONDS and Dorings music festival has been cancelled for the next three years “due to cost constraints’’, despite the Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, announcing at a council meeting on Wednesday, that the event would be going ahead.

About 50 companies from Kimberley and Bloemfontein were in the process of submitting bids in response to an advert to host the event from 2020 to 2022.

An advert was published on November 15 inviting service providers to submit their bids while another advert appeared in yesterday’s (Thursday’s) DFA indicating that it would be cancelled because of “financial constraints”.

Service providers met with the acting municipal manager yesterday to enquire about the chaos surrounding the cancellation of the event.

“We can’t understand why bids were advertised, when the event was cancelled two weeks later. We thought the event would be held after the mayor’s announcement on Wednesday, only to be caught by surprise by the cancellation notice that appeared in yesterday’s newspaper.

“ No formal notice of the cancellation was sent to any of the potential bidders. We were hoping to be part of the event event so that we could generate some income for our businesses.”

A tender briefing that was supposed to take place on Tuesday never took place, where potential bidders were informed that the festival was cancelled.

The Diamonds and Dorings festival, that was scheduled to be held on April 21 this year, was cancelled by council after objections were raised that a R2 million tender had been awarded to a Johannesburg businessman.

Spokesperson for Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, yesterday indicated that the event was cancelled as the municipality did not not have enough money to sustain its operations.

“It is part of cost cutting measures that were announced three weeks ago.”

The mayor’s office did not respond to media enquiries.