The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s (CPO) youth and outreach programs, as well as the orchestra itself, may not be able to function properly for much longer – unexplained delays in the R7-million funding it has been expecting from the Department of Arts and Culture is putting the livelihood of the CPO in danger.
“The orchestra is facing a serious challenge and it is not always certain whether it can survive financially from month to month,” said Derek Auret, chairperson of the CPO at the opening of the winter symphony season at the Cape Town City Hall earlier this August.
Auret added that the youth education and outrage programs reach more than 300 youths annually.
The CPO needs R30-million per year to operate optimally. A third of this goes towards skills transfer programs. The orchestra receives R10-million in funding from the government, and this can be broken down as follows: R7-million comes from the Department of Arts and Culture, while R1.5-million comes from the City of Cape Town.
The remaining R20-million comes from corporate and individual sponsors.
When the CPO performed at the opening of the City Hall, it was still waiting on payment from the City and Western Cape Government. Since then, they have secured the payments.
The outstanding payment remains that of the Department of Arts and Culture.
Speaking to GroundUp, Louis Henyneman, CEO of the CPO, said that without these funds, the orchestra will become a hand to mouth project.
The Masidlale Project is one of the CPO initiatives that faces the danger of being discontinued. The project launched in 2009 and teaches children from disadvantaged areas music, and currently has 100 students enrolled.
Masidlale includes both theoretical and practical studies to children in areas such as Gugulethu, Nyanga, Langa, and Khayelitsha, and there are also daily practice sessions at the Artscape Theatre.
The CPO views the possible closure of this particular program as an “enormous pity”.