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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.


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:

Cyril Ramaphosa
Working together Africa can solve its problems: Ramaphosa
25 May 2020, 4:08 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the coronavirus pandemic has shown Africa’s ability in working together to solve its own problems. Delivering the Africa Day speech as African Union (AU) Chairperson on Monday, he says Africa is firmly managing the global public health crisis.

The continent has more than 96 000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 3 000 deaths.

Ramaphosa says the positive that can be taken from the pandemic is that governments have accelerated their development agendas.

“The virus has exposed the deep inequalities that continue to exist on our continent and across the world. But at the same time, this global crisis should enable a new Africa to come to the fore. It should be an Africa of heroic acts of solidarity; an Africa of cross-border collaboration and sharing of knowledge and resources; an Africa that is united by a common goal.”

Below is the African Union Chairperson’s address: 

History of Africa Day 

In 1958, a congress was held in Ghana to both celebrate countries that had reached independence from European colonial rule and plot a way forward to free nations on the continent that were still under colonial rule. South Africa was not invited to the congress as it was governed under apartheid.

Much of the decolonisation of Africa happened between the 1950s and 1975. This saw countries move from colonial rule to independence under the leadership of African leaders.

South Africa was the last country on the continent to celebrate freedom when it held its first democratic election and had its first Black president, Nelson Mandela in 1994.

Below is a graphic of the history behind Africa Day:


Below is today’s full speech:

Today marks the 57th commemoration of the establishment of AU.


The economic impact of COVID-19 on Africa

Africa Day is being celebrated under the cloud of COVID-19 with the impact being felt across Africa. People’s lives have been greatly affected and the economic impact has been catastrophic.

According to Worldometer, Africa’s population as of May 2020 was over 1.33 billion as per United Nations’ estimates.

Research done by the World Bank says one in three Africans (over 420 million) lives below the Global Poverty Line.

Many African countries have implemented lockdowns amid the virus. This has meant restricted movement, with many businesses not operating and in most cases, only essential services being allowed to continue. Social gatherings have been banned under many of the lockdown regulations.

The impact of the virus has put economies of African nations under severe stress with many seeking help from organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Countries have also pledged money within their economies to lessen the blow the virus has had on businesses and people’s livelihoods.

Highlights of economic initiatives to combat the effect of COVID-19 in Africa:

  • The World Bank approved a $1 billion loan for Kenya to help it close a gaping budget deficit and tackle the economic shocks from the coronavirus.
  • Nigeria’s economy could shrink as much as 8.9% in 2020 in a worst-case scenario without stimulus, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said.
  • Egypt’s central bank will provide up to 100 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.36 billion) in loan guarantees to banks to encourage lending to businesses during the coronavirus
  • Uganda will receive an emergency loan worth $491.5 million from the International Monetary Fund to help cushion its economy from the impact of the new coronavirus
  • The World Bank will grant $7 million to Zimbabwe to help it fight the new coronavirus outbreak that is expected to worsen an already struggling economy and food crisis
  • The African Union (AU) has pledged $1.3 million to accelerate development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies.
  • African Investors agree that fast-tracking the African Union’s 5% infrastructure agenda is critical in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Nigeria is wooing local companies to boost manufacturing and food production in the West African country, the central bank said, after the novel coronavirus disrupted imports and created large financing needs.





Cyril Ramaphosa
Alcohol sale to be allowed under level 3 lockdown, tobacco sales remain banned
24 May 2020, 10:21 PM
The sale of alcohol will be allowed when South Africa moves to level 3 lockdown in June.

Alcohol may be sold for home consumption only under strict conditions, on specified days and for limited hours.

The sale of tobacco products will remain prohibited.

The President says the ban is due to the health risks associated with smoking.

President Cyril  Ramaphosa made the announcement on Sunday night.

Government’s decision on this comes amid an industry outcry over the ban on the sale of tobacco products, with cigarette traders saying the ban is empowering illegal tobacco traders.

Below is the president’s address:

The President says all economic activity will be permitted with a few exceptions. Businesses like hair salons and entertainment areas will remain closed as they pose a high risk of transmission.

“Places such as restaurants, bars, taverns accept for the collection or delivery of food. Accommodation and domestic air travel accept for business travel which will be phased in on dates to be announced conferences events, entertainment and sporting facilities, personal care services including hairdressing and beauty services.”

Below is an infographic of what will be permitted during level 3 lockdown:


INFOGRPHIC: Some restrictions will be in place at every level of the lockdown

Curfew on movement

People will still be able to leave their homes to buy goods or obtain services, including medical care.

Exercise will now be permitted any time during the day, however not in groups.

The 8 pm and 5am curfew has been lifted.

All gatherings will remain prohibited, except for funerals with no more than 50 people and work meetings.

Below is the President’s full speech:


Protection of workers 

Ramaphosa says the return to work of employees must be done in a manner that avoids and reduces risk of infection.

“Companies will need to put in place sanitary and social distancing measures and facilities; they will need to screen workers on arrival each day, quarantine those who may be infected and make arrangements for them to be tested. They also need to assist with contact tracing if employees test positive. Because of their vulnerability, all staff who are older than 60 years of age and those who suffer from underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer should ideally stay at home.”


Ramaphosa says high infection areas will be declared COVID-19 hotspots. The President has urged the nation to continue with preventative measures against the virus such as washing hands regularly, physical distancing and cleaning of surfaces.
“Now, as we enter the next phase of our struggle against the coronavirus, it is once again your actions that will determine the fate of our nation. As individuals, as families, as communities, it is you who will determine whether we experience the devastation that so many other countries have suffered, or whether we can spare our people, our society and our economy from the worst effects of this pandemic.”

Health workers praised

President Ramaphosa thanked public servants, especially those in the front line in the fight against COVID-19.

He says the safety of all workers, including public servants, is a matter of concern.

The President promised to provide adequate personal protection equipment to ensure the safety of all workers.


Health workers
Mahatma Gandhi Hospital confirms six cases of COVID-19
24 May 2020, 8:43 PM
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, says there are nine confirmed cases of coronavirus at the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Phoenix, north of Durban. The MEC says they are still awaiting more test results.
She says the hospital will not be closed as some health care workers had indicated their intention to down tools following reports of positive coronavirus cases at the facility.

“Six are healthcare workers and three are patients. We still have results that are outstanding. The issue of infections in hospitals is something that we are going to be faced with because we are dealing with an infectious disease. We are dealing with facilities that are receiving people who are not well, we are not going to be closing down all hospitals. How we close or where we close the facility will be dictated to by the spread of the virus. We are not going to close the hospital.”

Other KZN hospitals closed due to COVID-19

The General Gizenga Mpanza Hospital in KwaDukuza closed after nine mothers and 42 health workers tested positive for COVID-19.

St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban was closed at the beginning of April when 48 health workers tested positive for the virus.

Staff members at Kingsway in Amanzimtoti  contracted the disease and the hospital was closed.

Parkland in Durban was also temporarily closed.

KwaZulu-Natal has over 1 700 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 48 deaths.



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