Cape Town – Shock has been reverberating through South Africa's jazz, music and performing arts circles after news broke that the SABC has decided to dump its sponsorship of the upcoming Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
The state broadcaster didn’t give specific reasons, but said the they "could not agree on certain terms and conditions during negotiations".
The SABC - which has been a broadcast partner and sponsor of the annual highlight on not just the international jazz calendar but also South Africa and Cape Town's jazz and arts scene - announced that after consideration of the cost benefit of its sponsorship for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the broadcaster "decided not to participate as a media partner for this year's event".
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is South Africa's largest live music festival. The SABC said on Wednesday the public broadcaster will "continue to partner with organisers whose events have a strategic fit to our broadcasting mandate".
The SABC in previous years said it was a "proud co-sponsor" and exclusive broadcast sponsor of the Cape Town International Festival. The SABC not only broadcast festival coverage and performances across SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3, but also sponsored the Community Jazz Concert at the Greenmarket Square and helped with training, upliftment and development programmes.
Shows like Top Billing, Expresso and Afro Cafe also covered the festival previously, known for its international performers and showcasing upcoming new talent sharing the annual line-up.
The 16th Cape Town Jazz Festival is set to take place from 27 March again at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
The SABC said on Wednesday that despite its non-participation as a sponsor, "the SABC wishes the organisers of the festival well" and that the broadcaster will "commence negotiations for the 2016 Cape Town International Jazz Festival soon".
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