A group of women say they have not been paid after working long hours as promoters at the Eastern Cape Entertainment Star Awards festival (ECESA) held at various venues around East London in December.
Two of the 20 women in their early 20s, said they were promised R750-a-day.
But after working 12-hour days to keep patrons happy at four different events linked to the festival, they have still not received a cent.
The three-day event organised by Mandla Makwela and Tazz Nginda caused a buzz on social media, when some of the big-name artists scheduled to perform pulled out after promoters allegedly failed to pay them.
The artists included Eastern Cape-born Nathi, Idols judge Unathi and rapper Emtee.
Siviwe Simakhulu, a hostess from King William’s Town, said she responded to an advert on Facebook and had met up with Zoleka Tsika, who was hired to secure promoters for the event. She had briefed her and 30 other girls about the festival.
Simakhulu said they were asked to come back a day before the event to sign contracts, but when they arrived, Tsika did not have the contracts with her, informing them they would sign them up later.
Another promoter, Ziyanda Mayo, said they had to buy their own uniforms for the festival and had to organise their own transport to the events over the weekend.
“I had to travel from King Williams’s Town every day to come work, despite being promised transport. On some nights Tsika would ask random people attending the event to take us home late at night,” Simakhulu said.
When contracts did not materialise, the women wrote their names, contact details and identity numbers on a piece of paper, which they handed to Tsika.
They said they last saw Tsika on the day of the main event, but she had stopped communicating with them. The women contacted Makwela who said in an SMS seen by the Dispatch, that he was still waiting on “tourism and parks” to issue payment.
Makwela told the women to communicate with Tsika as she was the one hired to supply the promoters.
Both Makwela and Nginda’s phones were switched off yesterday.
When Dispatch called Tsika she said: “I cannot comment on the matter. I have to go to a meeting. You must speak to Mandla [Makwela]. “This was his event. I was just assisting Mandisa [Mngonyama]. She is the owner of the model agency”.
Mngonyama did not answer her phone when contacted. — firstname.lastname@example.org