Broadcasting Services

South Africa: SABC Confirms Payment Plan To Clear Debt Owed To Local Artists

Thousands of composers and authors whose music is broadcast on SABC TV and radio can now rest assured that they will be receiving their royalty fees as the SABC begins to clear a massive backlog of debt. The SABC had fallen far behind in its payments during its own financial hardships.

By the end of September 2019, it owed SAMRO a staggering total of more than $10.7 million. Now musicians will finally receive funds owed to them following the establishment of a payment plan.

This is a victory South African artist The Kiffness who has been vocal about the SABC needing to pay what is owed to artists. Earlier this year the opinionated musician said that he was "done with the SABC" because of non-payment. Following the news of the payment plan, The Kiffness (David Scott) said that it's a step in the right direction, but he would only believe it when he sees the money in his bank account.


The SABC has paid 35% towards decreasing its outstanding debt to the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), which is responsible for collecting all royalty fees and distributing them to its more than 19 000 members of SAMRO, who rely on royalties in order to sustain their livelihoods.

The public broadcaster has now committed to honouring monthly payments as agreed with SAMRO and has said that by April 2020, the outstanding debt would be settled in full and the current financial year invoices would be up to date.

Commenting on the royalties payout saga, SABC Spokesperson, Ms Vuyo Mthembu told Channel24 that the SABC could confirm that it had paid SAMRO a substantial portion of the monies owed to the organisation and that there is a payment plan in place which the SABC is committed to paying back artists the funds that are due to them.


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