Fun and games at Air Show
MATSAPHA – This year’s Swaziland Air show 2012 was not as well-attended as in previous years.
During the 2009 air show, about 13 700 people turned out for the event while this time around only about 30 per cent of that figure came to attend.
This means that about 4 500 people made it to Matsapha yesterday.
The poor attendance was such a glaring observation by not only those who paid their way to the event but also some of the officials who, however, did not wish to be identified.
The show took place yesterday at the Matsapha International Airport.
The events spokesperson, Lyndon Hermansson, said the poor attendance was a result of the economic meltdown.
Also, those who had come for business purposes were very disappointed by the poor turnout.
"There is just no business at all this time around. There are quite a few people here when making a comparison to previous air shows. I’m afraid I will have to return home with most of the food I had brought for sale here," said one woman at one of the food stalls.
She identified herself as LaSimelane. Her words were echoed by another woman who simply showed reporters the chunks of prepared meat from her braai stands.
"Sengimane ngihleti ngihambisa sikhatsi (I am just passing time here) otherwise I will return home with all the meat," she said preferring to be just identified as LaVilakati.
Others were of the view that the MTN Bushfire which ends today was the reason for the low turnout. "Cha isibulele i Bushfire shem. (The MTN Bushfire is responsible for the poor turnout)," said another woman who identified herself as Nqobile Mavimbela.
Making comments after the event, Lyndon Hermansson said it could not be deduced that people did not come in their numbers because they were at the MTN Bushfire.
"In 2009, we had the same event, by coincidence also, at the same time with the Bushfire but we recorded a crowd of over 13 700. I think this is just a result of the economic meltdown," said Herm-ansson.
"Otherwise, the event went very well save, of course of the little disappointment in the overall turnout. It was a great success, there were no incidences, and entertainment was provided throughout the event," he went on.
Speaking on the dates coinciding with the annual Bushfire Festival he said, "These dates are given to us by the South African organisation responsible for the event’s logistics. It was just sheer coincidence," he said.
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