WITH two weeks left before the Easter weekend, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is still scrambling to hire an event organiser for the Splash Festival.
This is despite the municipality having advertised the tender in January.
The festival is one of the biggest events on the city's tourism calendar.
DA councillor Andrew Whitfield warned yesterday the festival might not take place.
"The complete disregard for the residents and service providers as well as the thousands of tourists who will descend on Nelson Mandela Bay over Easter is disgraceful." Whitfield said red tape and political infighting were stalling the decision.
Economic development and recreational services acting director Zolile Siswana said the municipality was hoping to finalise the event company tender soon.
"There is no date or timeframe on this but we are hoping to finish soon."
He said the festival "should" take place despite the late timeframe left for organisers. "That is what we want and that is what we are working towards," he said.
A Splash Festival contract is worth more than R2-million. The company that wins the 2013 contract will manage the Splash Festival for the next three years.
The standing committee on sports, arts, recreation and culture is responsible for the festival.
But Whitfield said a full committee meeting had not taken place since November.
"Failure to convene regular committee meetings leads to councilors being unable to perform their oversight role effectively so as to ensure that events like the Splash Festival are properly organised," he said.
Event management companies said earlier this month at least six months were needed to organise a decent festival and sign up national artists.
Whitfield said: "This lack of planning for an event that takes place at the same time every year reflects either gross incompetence or a complete disregard for the city."