Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Oct 2011

VENTURES: Jazz Festival's Positive Notes


Recent Western Cape Business News

ALTHOUGH empowerment company Sekunjalo Investments does not appear to be scoring a huge profit contribution from its 51% holding in specialist events company espAfrika, there is a positive note to be sounded.

According to research, espAfrika’s popular Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) is adding a (much needed) upbeat tempo to South Africa’s growth prospects.

Recent research results from the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies at the North West University showed the Western Cape economy enjoyed a fillip to the value of R499 million in 2011 for the festival.

This represents a gain of almost 5% from the 2010 figure.

The university study also showed that the CTIJF benefited the national GDP to the tune of R761m - an increase of 7% from 2010.

This is great stuff for Sekunjalo, which as a pioneering empowerment company carries a brief not only to chase profits for its community based shareholders but to contribute positively to the country.

While pleased at the festival’s impact, festival director and espAfrika CEO Rashid Lombard notes that the audience capacity of 33 500 people did place a limit on the event’s ability to grow further. At least for the moment…

Lombard says the event had been sold out in advance for several years. “Our only regret is that we‘ve reached the audience capacity ceiling in the venue for the moment.” But, he reassured that plans were well underway for expanding the venue’s capacity. “This will allow many more ‘festinos’ to become part of Africa’s grandest gathering.”

One of the forgotten spin-offs from the CTIJF is media coverage with media recovery touching R406 million in 2011 – thanks to investment in marketing and publicity from espAfrika and its partners.

Nine radio stations, 11 TV channels and 139 accredited journalists from 14 countries covered the festival.

EspAfrika director Billy Domingo says experience built up over 13 years helped the company achieve some of its longer-term goals.

To say that the beginning was tough would be putting it very politely. But right at the outset, our key objective was to put on a show where the excellent quality of the performers would be matched by production. And even though costs were sky high, we knew that compromising on quality would sink us.”

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