The government says the SABC is giving away royalty money to overseas artists at the expense of struggling local producers hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa told a media briefing that his department would be “engaging” the public broadcaster on this matter.
“We’re pleading for local content to dominate on radio and television,” he said.
Many local performers have been left without income after the cancellation of stage and performance shows and the minister has indicated the SABC has a responsibility to pick up some of the slack.
The minister told the briefing that his department had increased the capacity of its adjudicating panel to ensure the fast-tracking of the Covid-19 relief fund for the arts and culture sector.
“In terms of arts and culture, a total of 1,050 applications have been assessed by the independent panel, 232 have been recommended for payments, 603 were not recommended, and 203 have been recommended for reassessments,” he said.
Mthethwa said his department was concerned with the high number of applications in the arts and culture sector that were not recommended because they did not comply with the requirements and due diligence.
“We are looking into this,” he added.
The fund is capped at R20,000 for each individual applicant.