Artists on warpath as BCM pay row deepens

Creative weapons have been drawn in a battle with Buffalo City Metro, which has failed to pay 176 artists who performed during the festive season.

The artists, who have formed themselves into Buffalo City Unpaid Artists (BCUA), are gearing themselves to march on metro offices next week.

Their spokesman, Luzuko Khohli, said that if they were not paid by Thursday this would spark “a series of mass demonstrations” and a campaign to make the metro ungovernable.

Khohli said their fee had now also risen by 30% as a penalty “for the strife caused by this poor handling of this process”.

Almost 200 local artists, including musicians, comedians and event hosts, were not paid for their services rendered at the December carnivals and switching on of the lights celebrations in King William’s Town, Mdantsane and East London.

On Saturday, the agitated group met at an East London beachfront hotel where a decision to embark on protest action was taken.

A hashtag, #PayUsOurMoneyNow, was also unveiled during the weekend meeting.

City spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya yesterday said he was sticking by his statement made on Friday in which he apologised for the delays.

They were a result of “bureaucratic processes” which in turn were caused by many of the artists not being registered on the government’s central database of service providers, he explained.

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