Arthur Mafokate’s ambitions of upstaging one of the country’s biggest arts shows, Macufe, by hosting a music festival in the Free State seven days before the annual internationally recognised event, have been dealt a cruel blow.
Mafokate was now heaping the blame on the Free State department of arts and culture as well as Lejweleputswa District Municipality for failing to fund his planned inaugural annual Mzansi Arts & Heritage Festival (Mahefe).
The event, which was supposed to be held under the auspices of the South African Arts & Development Association (SAADA), led by Mafokate, was to be held at Abrahamsrust Resort in Sasolburg, Free State on September 26.
Mafokate said as a result of government pulling the plug on the jamboree, his organisation had incurred costs of more than R300000 and would be set back further by refunding those who had already bought tickets.
“The department of arts and culture was supposed to help with rewarding development artists and pay for some logistics of the festival.
“Lejweleputswa District Municipality is where we held two of the past heritage festival events and now they say they don’t have budget anymore.
“We have already lost up to R300k and we feel development in this country is not taken serious and as long as that is happening artists will continue to suffer and die as paupers,” said Mafokate.
Mafokate said they were hoping that government could realise that development of the arts was a priority and must never be taken lightly.
Relevant government spokespeople could not be reached for comment yesterday.