Did you know, the SABC owes over R250 million in royalties to musicians around the country and The Kiffness’ David Scott has had enough. In August this year, the musician announced that until the SABC pays him the royalties he is owed, he would not be submitting music to any SABC-owned radio station for playlisting and has encouraged other artists to follow suit. However, when the government announced that they would be giving the radio station a R2.1 billion bailout, Dave felt like now was the perfect time for the public broadcaster to pay off their debt.

In a bid to get the SABC to do so, Dave wrote an open letter to broadcaster. “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, AIRCO: R8.8 mill, RiSA : R3.3 mill and CAPASSO: R6 mill.”

He adds that “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 R250mill royalty licenses. You can’t use “we’re broke” as an excuse, you literally have R2,1billion 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 – R250mill is a mere 10% of your bail out budget, a tithe if you will. But to us musicians, it is our bread & butter.”

The star also called out advertisers saying “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,” he says.

With his decision to remove all of his music from SABC-owned stations earlier this year, Dave put pressure on his fellow musicians to follow suit. “Ask yourself if you’re ok with playing gigs for that dodgy promoter who says ‘there’s no budget but it’s great exposure’,” he says. “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 down payment on a house & having an actual retirement annuity fund from SAMRO is way cooler.”

The Kiffness has also created an online petition to put pressure on the SABC to pay back their debt and it has been electronically signed by over 2800 people. Want to add your voice to the cause, sign the petition here.

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