Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams told the Democratic Alliance in a parliamentary response that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) owed artists more than R248 million in royalties.
“The money is owed to artists represented by various organisations, to which the SABC owes millions,” it said.
The organisations with outstanding amounts were the South African Music Rights Organisation (R125.8 million), the South African Music Performance Rights Association (R104.2 million), the Association of Independent Record Companies (R8.8 million), the Recording Industry of South Africa (R3.3 million) and the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association(R6 million), said the party.
The party further accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of not prioritising the filling of eight vacancies on the SABC’s board to address the royalties issue.
“These are hard-working men and women whom the president has a responsibility towards. These working artists have families to feed, school fees to pay, and must keep a roof over their heads. Furthermore, the SABC currently finds itself in such a dire financial situation that they might not be able to pay salaries to its own employees. Now is not the time to play party politics and stall the process of appointing the board. We need action, and we need it now,” it concluded.