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.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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