PRETORIA – The South African National Parks (SANParks) said it had cancelled the 2020 edition of its annual Golden Gate Classics event, citing uncertainty around regarding Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
SANParks executive for tourism development and marketing Hapiloe Sello said it had been difficult to plan the musical extravaganza, hosted every year at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in Free State province despite the government relaxing restrictions to “level 1”.
“We have had to cancel this event for 2020 even though we have moved to lockdown level 1, which allows for the gathering of 500 people outdoors ... Due to the lockdown, it has been difficult to plan for an event of this size,” said Sello.
Popular with jazz music lovers and classic aficionados, the Golden Gate Classics is a weekend-away extravaganza held under the stars on the foothills of the majestic Maluti mountain range in the national park.
“We continue to place the safety of both guests and staff at the top of our priority list and we hope that in 2021 we will be able to provide our guests with the once-in-a-lifetime that is the Golden Gate Classics,” Sello said.
As the country eases into level 1 restrictions, SANParks revealed how it will manage overnight accommodation in its various national parks.
Chief executive officer Fundisile Mketeni said as economic activities have been gradually opening, a risk-adjusted strategy has been at the core of every sector or industry. “In dealing with the expected accommodation bookings influx, SANParks has aligned itself with a similar strategy for overnight bookings particularly for inter-provincial travellers to national parks.”