- The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture plans to establish a R30 million National Philharmonic Orchestra
- South Africans and several orchestras throughout the country have been vocal about their disdain for the project
- The project comes just months after the nation ridiculed Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s R22 million giant flag
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PRETORIA - The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture’s proposed R30 million project to establish a National Philharmonic Orchestra (NPO) has left South Africans outraged. The project comes just months after the nation ridiculed the Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture Nathi Mthethwa’s R22 million giant flag project.
The proposal has sparked anger, with many South Africans claiming that the money can be redistributed to areas that are desperately in need of funding. Several orchestras throughout the country have been vocal about their disdain for the project.
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Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s CEO John Maytham told EWN that the project was unnecessary and that there are already programmes that offer training to up-and-coming players. He said the country could not afford to have the NPO and that South Africans do not need it. Maytham added that it would be a total waste of money.
Speaking exclusively to Briefly News, Jitske Brien of the Durban City Orchestra, who has years of experience at the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, said the creation of the NPO is unbelievable.
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“There hasn’t been money to pay musicians which has caused many of them to leave provincial orchestras. No auditions have been done to find musicians for the national group which is apparently paying incredible amounts. Certain players are being hand-picked,” she said.
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Brien added that provincial orchestras have training programmes that work great. However, the NPO claims that it will also have similar initiatives.
“Existing orchestras are not being supported by government and I cannot understand the reason behind the formation of a national orchestra. Most musicians have never received an increase for many years and the lack of funds are a major problem. The national orchestra is a huge slap in the face,” she added.
The Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Theatre and Gauteng Philharmonic Willem Vogel and the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Erik Albertyn told The Daily Maverick that the concept of a national orchestra would not be practical. Albertyn said the project is unrealistic and that one orchestra would not serve any purpose. Vogel said the amount of money could be put to much better use with individual orchestras.
South Africans express their anger about Nathi Mthethwa’s proposed R30 million orchestra project:
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“Nathi Mthethwa is hellbent on wasting the arts and culture budget. You would think after the flag, he would come up with something useful.”
“What ROI do we get from a national philharmonic orchestra? Nathi Mthethwa is committed to wasting money.”
“Nathi Mthethwa likes looking busy by making controversial decisions once in a blue moon.”
“Nathi Mthethwa did it again.”
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In a related matter, Briefly News also reported a video has been doing its rounds on social media that shows how President Cyril Ramaphosa reacted to Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa following harsh criticism of the R22 million flag project.
A giggling Ramaphosa was addressing the Black Business Council summit in Midrand recently when he commented on the monumental flag project. The proposed project sparked outrage from South Africans who declared it a waste of taxpayers’ money.
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Source: Briefly News