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Jazz (may be) on Rocks

Outstanding debt needs to be settled before this year’s Jazz on the Rocks will get a ‘go ahead’ from the Saldanha Bay Municipality (SBM).

This was the sentiments from councillors at the monthly council meeting held at the Vredenburg chambers on Thursday 30 January, where the matter was discussed.

“If they don’t pay, approval cannot be granted for Jazz on the Rocks and we will take the flack for that because we can’t allow it. It is tax-payers’ money,” said speaker Olwene Daniels.

During the council meeting an amount of over R90 000 was discussed, but SBM are yet to confirm the exact amount apparently owed to them by Camissa Solutions, organisers of the weekend-long music festival, which attracts thousands yearly.

Clarence Ford, popular radio personality and executive member of Camissa Solutions, confirms a dispute which dates back as far as 2015 and concerns a rented property.

“We confirm a dispute about rentals relating to the lease of the Paradise Cove/Midwest campsite (in St Helena Bay), dating back to 2015,” Ford said in a statement.

He also said no debt related to the Jazz on the Rocks event was outstanding.

During the council meeting it was said a summons had been issued to the organisers, Camissa Solutions, to settle the debt.

Ford says in his statement “In respect of the disputed rentals, all monies as claimed by the municipality is held in trust by Greg Duncan Attorneys, on our behalf, and will be disbursed as soon as the dispute is settled.”

It is yet unclear why payment is not being made.

In 2011 Weslander reported that the music festival was given the ‘green light’ amid concerns by councillors.

Jazz on the Rocks is a collaboration between the SBM and Camissa Solutions, with SBM paying a third (R150 000 in 2011) of the cost to host the event.

Councillors’ concerns then included the environmental impact the event could inflict as it is held at Tietiesbaai, inside the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.

During the council meeting opposition councillor Jaco Kotze, wanted to know why it took SBM so long to incur the outstanding debt. “We’ve spoken about the outstanding debt before. I don’t know what has been done. I’m concerned how it ended up that the amount of money was not paid in advance,” Kotze said.

Weslander asked Camissa Solutions and SBM what the economic impact is for the region, and exactly how locals benefit, they said: “JOR delivers nearly 20 000 bed nights to the region annually” and draws guests from other countries. SBM had not responded to Weslander’s questions by deadline.

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