The Kiffness launched his #NoPayNoPlay movement in August 2019. He brought the light the accumulation and payout of SAMPRA needletime royalties and SAMRO performance royalties that the SABC owes South African musicians and songwriters.
The Kiffness posted this open letter to the SABC on Facebook:
Dear SABC, tomorrow you will receive a R2,1billion bail out from our generous government. Congrats! Now before you go & spend all that money, I would like to remind you that you still owe these amounts to the following royalty collecting agencies:
SAMRO: R125.8 mill
SAMPRA: R104.2 mill
(South African Music Performance Rights Association)
AIRCO: R8.8 mill
RiSA : R3.3 mill
CAPASSO: R6 mill
I pay my TV license, though I don’t even watch SABC. But I do it anyway because it’s the law. So now I call on you to return the favour by paying your outstanding R250 mill royalty licenses. You can’t use “we’re broke” as an excuse, you literally have R2,1 billion now. Private stations do it. Restaurants do it. So should you. To quote you, “It’s the right thing to do”.
Look it at it this way – R250 mill is a mere 10% of your bail out budget, a tithe if you will. But to us musicians, it is our bread & butter.
To the public: please ask yourself if you’re ok supporting stations that don’t even support the people that make you listen to the radio in the first place. If not, consider switching to private stations until SABC changes their ways.
To the companies that advertise on SABC stations: please ask yourself if you’re comfortable that the advertising fees you’re paying these stations are lining the pockets of the fat cats, when that money should be going towards paying license fees for musicians. If not, then stop advertising on SABC stations until they change their ways.
And to my fellow musicians: ask yourself if you’re ok with playing gigs for that dodgy promoter who says “there’s no budget but it’s great exposure”. If not, then stop sending your music to SABC stations until they’ve paid their dues! Trust me, I know how cool it is to have your track on the 5fm top 40, but I’ve realised that having royalties to put a downpayment on a house & having an actual retirement annuity fund from SAMRO is way cooler.
My 2 cents: The Kiffness is not wrong
The Kiffness is standing up for something that he believes in. R250 million is a lot of cash folks. The SABC needs to pay up. Musicians and Songwriters are people and they need to eat and pay their bills (just like you and me).
Make your voice heard and sign his petition HERE.
Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.