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SABC owes local musicians more than R75 million in royalties

06 June 2017 - 14:38 By David Gernon
SABC in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
SABC in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
Image: Waldo Swiegers. (C) Sunday Times.

A response to a written question from a member of parliament has revealed that the SABC owes more than R75-million to local music groups.

The DA’s Phumzile Van Damme asked the Minister of Communications what the public broadcaster owes in royalty payments to various South African music interest groups. She posted the reply on Twitter early Tuesday morning.

The largest amount‚ more than R52-million‚ is owed jointly to the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) and the Independent Music Performance Rights Association (IMPRA) and is outstanding from March 2014.

The reply states the reason for nonpayment as: “Both societies have not agreed on the percentage split of the amount based on the play history reports SABC has generated.”

Another royalty distribution group‚ the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) is owed over R14-million from April 2017. The reply states payment to SAMRO is scheduled for the third quarter of this fiscal year.

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The other organisations owed money are the Association of Independent Record Companies‚ the Recording Industry of South Africa and the Composers‚ Authors and Publishers Association‚ all owed between R2.4-million and R3-million.

The amount is potentially more.

One group‚ the Independent Music Performance Rights Association‚ has no amount outstanding or period for which the payment has been outstanding.

The reply said of the group: “Both societies have submitted the repertoires list for the verification process which is still ongoing. Once all is completed and agreed upon by all parties the payment will be made to the societies.”

- TMG Digital/TimesLIVE