News Brief

Cash Strapped South African National Broadcaster SABC Stopped Paying Artists Their Royalties Last Year

The SABC owes the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) millions in royalties.

The country's national broadcaster the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) had to stop paying royalties to artists for music used on its radio and TV platforms last year, City Press reports.

This comes after the broadcaster's highly publicized financial woes. The SABC was reported to be in close to R700 million (approximately $51 million) debt in August 2018. It reportedly needed R3 billion (approximately $217 347 210) to avoid closing its does.


SABC spokesperson, Neo Momodu was quoted by City Press as saying:

"The SABC's dire financial situation is a matter of public record. We are in ongoing discussions with our service providers and suppliers, including Samro, to negotiate payment terms."

City Press reports that the latest annual report of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), released in December, has revealed that the SABC owed it R55.5 million (approximately $4 million) in royalties at the end of June last year.

SAMRO told the newspaper that if the debt is not paid this month, the money will not be available for distribution of royalties due to music publishers and composers in February and March.

News Brief
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Zambian President Edgar Lungu Collapses During Televised Ceremony

Secretary to Cabinet, Simon Miti confirmed that the head of state experienced sudden dizziness during a commemoration ceremony in Lusaka on Sunday.

"His Excellency the President of The Republic of Zambia Dr Edgar Changwa Lungu, this afternoon experienced sudden dizziness while officiating the 45th Defence Force Day Commemoration and Investiture Ceremony. His Excellency recovered immediately and walked to the official car and returned to his residence at The State House," said Secretary to Cabinet Simon Miti in a statement.

This is not the first time the 64-year-old has collapsed during a public engagement. In 2015 President Lungu was rushed to hospital after collapsing during a Women's Day event, according to a report by The Mail and Guardian. After being discharged from Maina Soko Military Hospital in his home country, he was forced to receive specialist treatment in neighbouring South Africa.

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