01 July, 2009

Festival has not felt credit crunch!

The 35th annual National Arts Festival (NAF), taking place between 2 and 11 July in Grahamstown will sustain the city’s economic stability regardless to the global recession according to CEO, Tony Lankester. He was talking at a press conference arranged for the Future Journalist Programme yesterday.

The Rhodes Conferencing Office Manager, Carolyn Stevenson-Milln confirmed that over 4000 locals will be hired as temporary workers in Halls of Residence around campus. Rhodes normally rents out its residences to tourists and festival goers, and Milln said their rent helps keep the students’ residence fees low.

Lankester told the FJP press conference that the success of the festival has kept sponsors aboard because of its unrivalled capacity to generate profit.

Standard Bank has always been there for the festival, and it has upped its sponsorship up to 2011. Their CEO says Jacko Maree told the press recently that “the festival has always been a platform for freedom of expression and, in the corporate and financial world. “We know that a free society is the best environment for our business to grow,” Maree added.

Reporting and writing by Andile Dube, Jeffrey Shisinga, Sophiane Bengeloun, Anele Ngwenya.

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