KZN MEC cancels costly Samas after Ramaphosa reads him riot act

25 October 2023 - 11:24
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File image.
Image: GCIS President Cyril Ramaphosa. File image.

The KwaZulu-Natal department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs (Edtea) has pulled the plug on its controversial R20m sponsorship of the South African Music Awards (Samas).  

As an executive authority, having consulted widely with the executive council and other stakeholders I have advised the department to stop the hosting of the South African Music Awards this year,” Edtea MEC Siboniso Duma said on Wednesday. 

Edtea had applied to the provincial treasury for an administrative transfer of funds from parts of the budget to allow it to raise initially R28m, but later R20m, to host the awards.

Duma’s announcement comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa “advised MEC Duma against such spending in the interest of maintaining fiscal discipline”.

“We reiterate the point that our hearts are with artists whose lives were destroyed by the outbreak of Covid-19. The awards were their hope and source of income before the festive season,” said Duma.