Poet Jessica Mbangeni: Artists are being exploited every day

Renowned poet Jessica Mbangeni says she is in Durban to appeal to Cosatu to monitor working conditions in the creative industry.

Renowned poet Jessica Mbangeni at the National May Day rally in Durban. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

DURBAN - Artists performing at the National May Day rally in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, say they have yet to see their rights protected.

Renowned poet Jessica Mbangeni and gospel singer Hlengiwe Mhlaba are among them.

Mbangeni said she was in Durban to appeal to trade union federation Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to monitor working conditions in the creative industry.

Aside from the messages to be delivered in speeches, the colour of the May Day rally is in the cultural singing and dancing, and the performances on the main stage.

But artists, both formal and informal, say they gain the least from their craft due to poor conditions.

Mbangeni is just one of many who feel this way.

“Artists are being exploited every day, we have nowhere to go, even the unions that we form are not monitored. Our industry is making a lot of money but there is huge exploitation because there is no formalisation.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa has received a warm welcome ahead of his address.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)