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Ramaphosa wants all stops pulled out in dealing with COVID-19 crisis in Western Cape
5 June 2020, 2:32 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says medical staff shortages amidst the war against the coronavirus are unacceptable, especially in the Western Cape, which is the epicentre of the outbreak in the country. Ramaphosa is in the province to assess its response in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

The Western Cape has more than 27 000 positive cases and 651 deaths.

Ramaphosa says all skilled medical workers must immediately be sourced and employed to make up for staff shortages at medical facilities.

“Not having enough staff members is not going to be an excuse that I will accept. We’ve got to find them. Money is not going to be the issue we must pull out all stops to save lives. This is a war that we must win. We cannot sit back and be defeated by COVID-19 on the basis that we didn’t have enough staff members. ”

In the video below, President Ramaphosa addresses lack of medical staff in Western Cape:

Infographic: Latest COVID-19 statistics:

 

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‘More staff needed to help save lives’

Ramaphosa insists that the challenges around low staff levels in Western Cape medical institutions need to be solved. The President has praised the response of the leadership in the province but says more staff are needed to help save lives.

“The staffing challenges must be solved. We are at war and fighting a life and death war. So, staffing challenges must be solved. We must identify, headhunt and find all those staff members that we need to bring in. Cost is not the issue here; saving lives is the issue.”

SABC’s Bulelani Phillip reports… 

‘Breaking the cycle of infection’ 

Meanwhile Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize has emphasised the need for the strengthening of quarantine and isolation strategies as the country battles coronavirus.

Briefing President Ramaphosa in the Western Cape, Mkhize says further quarantining and isolation will be needed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The area that (is) identified that needs a lot of strengthening in the provincial strategy is the issue of quarantining and isolation. This is the area that I think we need to focus on strongly to ensure that we can cut the cycle. I think we need more beds because we are not dealing with just positive cases, but also contacts. So, we need to make a concerted effort to reach out to breaking the cycle of the infection.”

COVID-19 test backlogs

The Health Minister says he’s hopeful that the COVID-19 test backlogs, as a result of test kit shortages, will be cleared soon.

A number of experts have expressed concern that the planned number of daily tests were not conducted during the early part of the lockdown. Mkhize says a huge consignment of test kits has just been received.

“There are also additional kits we have just released from customs last night that came from Russia. We believe all of this together will actually help us to close the problem of testing. This issue has to be seen as a transitional problem. We need to target a bit more for testing and make sure we don’t compromise the case management.”

VIDEO: President Ramaphosa engages Sanef
31 May 2020, 2:22 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa convenes a virtual engagement with journalists and members of the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Sunday.

The meeting takes place at a time when the country and the rest of the world are immersed in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also takes place on the basis of acknowledging the role played by media as a vital conduit of information disseminated by government and other sources with the aim of saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

Live stream:

The President has again thanked the news media for the critical role they play in the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting with Sanef afforded the president an opportunity to engage editors on the country’s ongoing measures to manage the spread of COVID-19 through its risk-adjusted strategy.

“I must say that right at the beginning when we made the lockdown provisions announcement, the media, for a while, had not been identified as essential. And you immediately raised the issue and it was an oversight on our part, which was quickly corrected, because of your own interventions which we thank you for. The continued interventions between the media and government are quite helpful.”

VIDEO: Kubayi-Ngubane briefs the nation on Tourism Level 3 regulations
30 May 2020, 6:15 PM

The Minister of Tourism,  Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is addressing the nation on regulations relating to COVID-19 Level 3 restrictions.

Live stream:

VIDEO: Discussion on South Africa’s Foreign Policy
30 May 2020, 3:55 PM

The Institute of Foreign Affairs and the UJ Centre for Africa China Studies, in collaboration with the UJ Library, are hosting a virtual summit to discuss South African Foreign Policy amid COVID-19 National and Continental Priorities.

Livestream:

Music
Artists urged to secure royalties through Samro
25 May 2020, 8:41 PM
Failure to understand contracts and administration has led to a lot of artists losing out on their royalties. The music industry has come under scrutiny following a number of artists who received food parcels, and some artists warning that they would not survive the national COVID-19 lockdown.
With the call for more local content to be on high rotation to support artists, who stand to benefit? The answer all comes down to paperwork as Stanley Khoza from the South African Music Industry Council and Vice President of Association of Independent Record Companies of South Africa (Airco) explains, “The business is on the administration side. What royalties are you entitled to? What percentages are you entitled to and how do you go about achieving each and every fair deal in the component of the sector, more especially on distribution. What’s your agreement? Some sign their life off.”

Khoza says before you sign, you need to understand the law, and the attached clauses which should be fair and balanced for both parties.

“A lot of artists right now are exposed to dangerous circumstances with no income coming in. Some depend on loans and it is even on loans they can get exploited because of the terms and conditions. It’s one thing to be known everywhere and be popular, but it’s another thing to be earning equally relevant to your work and fame (sic).”

Artist and music producer, Sean Pages, says artists are so quick to record, but never register their songs so they can get royalties should they get airplay.

He says while this is the first step, there is a long list of things to check.

“Who is going to be the owner of the song? How much of the song is he going to own, and are they going to get paid for collaborating in the song? Some are not getting their royalties because of the contracts they signed. They could have signed away their publishing rights to the label or management. They sign today and 5 years later they are crying.”

He advises artists to take time and research, get legal advice or speak to those that have walked the path before them for knowledge.

However, it’s not all black and white. There are multiple layers to the creation of the song and ownership. Who wrote the lyrics? Who composed the melody? The producer; idea behind the music; hiring of recording studio; performance of the song. All that should be noted on a split sheet signed by all parties involved before leaving the studio.

General Manager at Sheer Publishing, Karabo Motijoane, better known as “Mr K”, says its important to know the terms of the contract and the purpose of the deal.

“A licensing deal or distribution deal means you own the master recording. It means you have paid for the recording and you own it. More administration is on your side than a label. But if you are an artist signed to a record label, there’s less admin involved. The record company owns everything that you do. They will pay you based on what you agreed on. They have to deduct the money that they spent before they can even pay you.”

Mr K says it is only through understanding this that you can protect your rights and creation and begin to collect royalties from collecting societies.

He advises artists to secure their royalties through Samro who collects from broadcasters and other entities that play music.

“That money gets paid to the songwriter. The second part is mechanical royalties based on the copy of the copy being made. It’s either digital or physical. The last part is synchronisation royalties. That’s the placement of music to an advert or film. You need to have a different deal for that. You get paid for them whatever you charge them for intellectual property.”

Protect your song, have a song split sheet and International Standard Recording Code from Risa, so when anyone uses the song, it will be recognized. Notify all royalty collecting societies on time.

SABC reaches consensus with Sampra, Impra on payment of needletime royalties:

Meanwhile, the SABC and the Collecting Societies, South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) and Independent Music Performance Rights Association (Impra) have agreed to embark on an arbitration process to resolve the legal dispute on the allocation of needle time royalties.

In order to help bring relief to the beneficiaries of needletime royalties, the SABC has decided to make an advance payment to Sampra and Impra.

The video below discusses the issue of royalties:

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