On 2 December, ETECH had the privilege of joining thousands of fans at the FNB Stadium in Nasrec, Johannesburg to witness one of the largest music festivals that South Africa has ever hosted.

Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 brought together some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Beyoncé and JAY-Z; Cassper Nyovest; D’banj; Ed Sheeran; Eddie Vedder; Kacey Musgraves; Femi Kuti; Pharrell Williams; Chris Martin; Sho Madjozi; Tiwa Savage; Usher; and Wizkid. Outstanding staging, phenomenal changeovers and awe-inspiring sound design, lighting and AV made for a truly unforgettable experience for all.

It is, however, important to remember that The Global Citizen Festival is not just about the music – but is a part of a much larger social movement that saw over 5.65 million actions that led to 58 commitments and announcements worth $7,096,996,725 (ZAR 99,503,546,297), set to affect the lives of 137,368,628 people.

While the Global Citizen Festival production was, arguably, of the highest quality that South Africans have ever seen live – it came at an enormous cost. It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the loss of Siyabonga Ngondze, a highly experienced rigger that has worked with the Gearhouse Group of Companies for some time.

Gearhouse statement following the announcement of the death of Siyabonga Ngondze:

“It is with heavy hearts that we as Gearhouse South Africa share with you the occurrence of an incident at the Global Citizen set-up on Saturday afternoon which resulted in the tragic loss of life of one of the members of our rigging team, Mr Siyabonga Ngondze. Siyabonga was an experienced rigger, who had worked regularly with Gearhouse on many local and international events with similar requirements to this one.

“Gearhouse adheres to rigorous international safety standards and takes great precaution to prevent this type of incident. We are taking the accident very seriously and are assisting the relevant authorities with a full investigation to establish the circumstances that led to this misfortune

“We have been in contact with members of his immediate family regarding the incident and to extend our heartfelt condolences. We extend same to his broader family and friends as well as his colleagues within Gearhouse and the industry at large.”

In response to this tragic incident, SACIA and the TPSA Council have established a fund to help provide for Siyabonga’s immediate family. Executive director of SACIA, Kevin Jones has opened the fund with a contribution in his personal capacity and encourages all in the industry to do the same. For more information and to make your contribution, please follow the link:


ETECH would like to add our voice to the chorus of entertainment technology professionals from around the world in extending our heartfelt condolences to Siyabonga’s family, loved ones and to all of his teammates and colleagues.