The Nicki Minaj concert held on Sunday has drown up controversial issues one of which is Durban’s emergence as the only city to have forked out for the South African leg of Minaj’s Pinkprint tour and that the sum of R1.7 Million was spent to buy concert tickets for Councillors.
Having prepared for the concert which cost the eThekwini municipality nothing less than R1.7 million to cover the cost of hiring the Moses Mabhida Stadium, outdoor advertising, marketing, infrastructure and logistics, the province emerged over the weekend to say that tickets were made available to the city’s 205 Councillors for the Sunday night concert
But the DA Councillors refused to accept the free tickets insisting that the municipality should not shoulder alone the cost for the concert and that the huge sum of money plunged in for the concert was far above the amount that was used for Chris brown’s concert last year and therefore was not wort it. DA’s Heinz de Boer said:
“We strongly objected to the city spending R1.7-million on the concert, which was double the cost for the Chris Brown concert [in April 2015], and we even objected to that amount. These are wealthy artists who come here with US dollars, and should pay for their own stadium hire and advertising.
As a caucus we took a conscious decision not to attend the concert in protest.”
However, the City of Cape Town and Johannesburg municipal leaders confirmed that they did not partake in footing the bills for Niki Minaj’s invitation which took place at Grand West Casino.
“We did not pay any money to bring Nicki Minaj. The show was organised by private promoters and they paid all the costs of the show”
A total of R250 000 was expected to be spent on marketing and advertising, and R1.5m was to be mapped out for hiring the Moses Mabhida Stadium, and logistics for the concert. The sum of R3 705 000 was also meant to be spent by the city on both artists including VAT.
According to Timeslive, on Friday, before the Durban gig, Councillors received a message saying: “Good afternoon Cllrs. kindly collect Nicki Minaj tickets from Speaker’s Office. Collection closes at 16h50 today, 18/03/2016.”
A later message said the tickets were available on a “first come, first served” basis. It is unclear how many tickets were made available but the DA’s Heinz de Boer was adamant that no one from his party took up the offer for the Nicki Minaj concert.