JOHANNESBURG – The SABC has announced it will increase royalty payments from 3% to 4% on radio for all collecting societies. The public broadcaster says that as part of its transformation drive on local music content, it met with various collecting societies, namely the Southern African Music Rights Organisation, the South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra), the Independent Music Performance Rights Association (Impra) and the Association of Independent Record Companies (Airco).

SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng stated that this move is meant to stimulate the music industry through creating jobs and unearthing new talent.

“The SABC also wants to restore the dignity of creatives to move away from a situation of creatives in the music industry dying as paupers. The SABC will set a budget to honour South African music legends such as Babsy Mlangeni, Steve Kekana and Letta Mbuli and those that have passed on amongst others for their contribution to the industry. This once-off recognition payment will be in July”.

Earlier this month it was announced that 90% of the music played on its radio stations would be local content. The SABC adds that it’s aware that there are artists who do not belong to these societies and this move is also a bid to encourage them to register with collecting societies so they equally benefit as the rest of the registered members, as their music is also played on SABC radio.

Sampra chairperson Sean Watson says the association is thrilled by the bold decision taken by the SABC to beat the 3% rate set by the courts and up it to 4%. “It speaks volumes about the SABC’s passionate commitment to the South African music industry and we are grateful for this proactive approach.”

Dodo Monamedi, chairperson of Airco and Impra, says the move will mean booming sales for retailers, recording studios and live performances. “We will work hand in hand with our stakeholders to educate our people about what needle time is all about and its benefits. We shall all endeavour to promote and defend our local markets for all to benefit.”

Samro representative Arthur Mafokate says, “We are very excited and looking forward to artists’ lives changing. We have waited for 30 years for this.”

Courtesy of Times Live.