This is wonderful news to me as I have been quite vocal in this column about the horrible conditions our people had to endure at City Hall during the Malay Choir season this year.
It seems as though our mayor, Patricia de Lille, does read the Daily Voice, and has been busy behind the scenes to institute these much-needed upgrades at the 112-year-old gebou.
A big thumbs up to the City of Cape Town for this one.
However, the nine-month long revamp will impact negatively on our Malay choirs because it takes place smack bang in the middle of our competition.
This now forces the Malay choirs to look for an alternate venue for next season which is set to take place in March and April 2018.
When I spoke to the secretary of the Cape Malay Choir Board, Boeta Ishmail Ely, he said this is good news to them and that he believes these upgrades will work in their favour.
However, the president of the CMCB, Boeta Shafick April, said while they were happy with the upgrades, the City needs to work on their communication skills, as they only found out about the upgrades after the Daily Voice contacted him on Tuesday.
“Ons kyk vorentoe vir die revamp maar ons is net unhappy met hoe hulle dinge doen.
“Die City kon at least die decency gehad het om vir ons directly te laat weet.”
April also said that he hopes this is not just another stunt by the City to get them out of the Cape Town CBD, as it was very similar to what has been done to them when the Good Hope Centre was suddenly closed to the public last year and hired out to a film studio.
A clear case of once bitten, twice shy.
However, I don’t blame Boeta Shafick for his sentiments; the loss of the Good Hope Centre is still quite a fresh wound.
The CMCB has now moved onto Plan B which is to look at other venues, and the Castle of Good Hope is one of them.
This historic venue proved to be highly successful when the Top Ten competition took place there earlier this year.
However, it comes at a great cost.
The price of the marquee alone could come to R120 000 per day for the five days of competition.
So I believe the Artscape or perhaps the Baxter Theatre should be considered as alternative venues as well.
Boeta Shafick says: “Whatever the outcome, the competition will continue to take place as it has since 1938. Ons het altyd ‘* Plan B.”
My sentiments lie with the CMBC, but at the same time I can’t help but be impressed with the City for once again working for us, the people, by upgrading a venue that once was one of the IT places innie Kaap.
In my opinion, I think we need to make a bit of sabr (have patience) with Aunty Pat and the City and realise just how much we can benefit from these upgrades in the future.
Well done, madame Mayor, although your PR network was a bit slow in getting the news of the revamp out to the people who are being affected by it.
We are all looking forward to seeing our beloved City Hall restored to its former glory.