The SABC, and in particular its general executive of corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng, has been accused of being hypocritical about their song and dance around the 90% local music radio quota, after it was revealed the broadcaster owes local artists millions in royalties.
In a written parliamentary reply sent to the DA, the Department of Communication revealed that SABC radio owes the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) and Independent Music Performance Rights Association (IMPRA), both which represents local artists, R25.7 million dating back to 2014.
According to the department, the amount owed was calculated as per a Supreme Court of Appeal Judgement issued on 14th March 2014 in a case brought against the SABC by the associations.
“The amount will be paid once both societies have agreed on the repertoires and the split thereof,” the department said.
“This flies in the face of Motsoeneng’s constant pontificating claims to support South Africa’s local musicians. His 90% local content policy has now been revealed to be nothing more than an attempt to gain the public support of South Africa’s musicians during his legal woes, as it is not backed by a real commitment to provide the financial backing in royalty payments,” DA spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme said.
The revelation comes as Motsoeneng and the DA faced off in court on Wednesday and Thursday in the Western Cape High Court, during a case brought by the party to have Mostoeneng fired from the public broadcaster. Judgement in the case was reserved.