Salary blues shake Ndalo Media magazine empire
Employees of Ndalo Media, a company owned by businesswoman Khanyi Dhlomo, have not been paid their November salaries.
Problems of late salary payments at Ndalo Media that owns Destiny, Destiny Men and Elle magazines, among others, started in October when staff were paid a few days later after the usual salary date.
Panic set in among the workers when they received an e-mail from Dhlomo informing them that November salaries would also be paid late but she assured them that the issues would be resolved.
Sowetan has learnt from sources that the situation was so bad that a lot of staff members had not been coming to work because they cannot afford petrol and transport money.
Dhlomo promised that staff would get paid on December 7 instead of November 25, however, they were informed on December 6 that the date for payments would be pushed further.
Freelancers were also not paid.
Dhlomo's e-mail that was sent to staff that Sowetan has seen, stated that salaries will not be paid as promised because business revenue was low and could not even cover basic costs.
"I had hoped to be in a position for us to release salaries today but unfortunately this won't be the case.
"I am concurrently finalising the December salaries so that they are ready on or before December 20 as promised," said Dhlomo in the e-mail.
Dhlomo told staff that magazine issues for January and February were way below revenue levels expected and that she was planning ahead to finalise plans around the business's print strategy.
"The process of finalising investors is also ongoing. I'm sorry about this outcome," she wrote.
Sowetan's attempts to get a comment from Dhlomo yesterday were unsuccessful.
According to industry sources, Ndalo Media experienced financial problems when the media company lost the contract to produce SAA magazine Sawubona. The contract was won by Mikateko Media.
About three weeks ago, Sowetan's sister publication Sunday World reported that Dhlomo's company was dragged to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg for failing to pay a R13m printing debt.
John Martin, of CTP, explains in court papers that the company printed Ndalo publications, including Sawubona, Destiny, Destiny Man, Elle and Elle Decoration as well as SAA in flight magazine from 2016.
CTP states that they made numerous attempts to get Ndalo to pay the debt but they continued to default.