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In 2016, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown was marred by problems that were not of the organisers’ making. Makana Municipality’s erratic supply of water and electricity, pitted roads and its inability to collect refuse hampered the event. Festival CEO Tony Lankester wrote afterwards: "The festival is not universally loved in Grahamstown." The Eastern Cape government understands and appreciates the festival’s importance, providing special programming such as the Dakawa township jazz festival and the Eastern Cape traditional instruments showcase, which have become popular attractions. The festival receives funding via the Department of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy. The strategy, implemented in 2011, offers a series of economic interventions broadly aimed at catalysing growth in the arts sector. It supports 25 regional and national festivals a year and about 100 to 150 on an ad hoc basis. Regional festivals such as Innibos in Nelspruit and Vryfees in Bloemfontein ta...

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