The National Assembly has passed the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill with 198 MPs voting in favour and six against.

There were no abstentions. The Bill will be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence. Speaking during the debate on Wednesday, Parliament’s Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee  Chairperson Joan Fubbs said the Bill sought to restore the dignity of artists after many of them died in poverty.

She says they include the lead singer of the Mahotella Queens, Simon ‘Mahlathini’ Nkabinde who died more than 19 years ago.

She adds, “We wanna be there and we know we will be there when no longer will musicians, singers, performers die in poverty. Mahlathini died a pauper in 1999. And the SABC said it owed him R4-million in royalties. It’s great to say that after the event when people have died in poverty. And we know so many of these artists which we have enjoyed, watch them perform and then we hear and see a little footnote or we hear it on TV, well they club together to try and bury this person. And we can no longer carry on in this manner. We can no longer say it’s ok, it’s ok, its alright just wait, – mamela mama. No, we can’t say that any longer.”