National Arts Festival: Makhanda ready to welcome artists and visitors

Two years later, Makhanda is gearing up to welcome visitors for the live National Arts Festival which officially kicks off on Thursday 23 June to Sunday 3 July. Makhanda municipality mayor, Yandiswa Vara, said the city has been working hard in preparing to welcome visitors back. 

ALSO READ: Amanda Black and Ringo Madlingozi join National Arts Festival lineup


After a virtual National Arts Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, festival CEO, Monica Newton, says this year’s event is going to be great. 

“We’re optimistic, but measuring our expectations, in these tough economic times. It’s very encouraging to see that the accommodation establishments across town are reporting brisk bookings and there is definitely activity at the box office, so it’s apparent that the hunger for a live, immersive experience is calling festival-goers back,” said Newton.

The National Arts Festival has previously brought approximately R90 million into the Eastern Cape and while it is a celebration for many, there is always an opportunity to generate income. 


Makhanda’s municipality mayor, Yandiswa Vara, says the city is looking forward to welcoming back artists and art lovers who inject positive energy into Makhanda over this period. 

“The city has been preparing and working hard with our partners in business and community, to ensure that the city is safe and clean for the event but also ongoingly, as we strive to reinvigorate Makhanda,” said Vara. 

More than R18 million worth of road replacement and resurfacing work started in Makhanda in 2021 with a specific focus on the city centre and the Joza suburb. 

ALSO READ: National Arts Festival 2022: Here’s a taste of what to expect


On Wednesday 22 June, Eskom implemented Stage 2 load shedding from 05:00 till 00:00 every day, which means there will be load shedding in Makhanda over the next few days in Makhanda. 

The National Arts Festival has previously navigated load shedding and luckily, some of the festival’s venues are equipped with generators. 

Makhanda still remains water-stressed and visitors are encouraged to conserve water during their stay. 

Take a look at the full schedule for the National Arts Festival here

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