The  South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has agreed to an arbitration process on the payment of needletime royalties– money paid for the music aired on SABC radio stations with the Music Performance Rights Association and Independent Music Performance Rights Association.

The public broadcaster met with the associations to find a solution to the year-long dispute.

The SABC says it was not able to pay needletime royalties to any of the associations since the 2015/2016 financial year.

“The urgency of the matter was compounded by the challenges faced by artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reached a consensus despite the legal dispute on the allocation of needletime royalties. All parties have agreed to embark on an arbitration process to resolve the legal dispute on the allocation of needletime royalties. We will also develop the terms of reference jointly to ensure a sustainable solution for the payment of needletime royalties. In order for us to bring relief to the beneficiaries of needletime royalties, the SABC has also decided to make an advanced payment to SAMPRAM and IMPRAM. All parties have also decided that we will continue to work together for the growth and the development of the South African music industry,” says SABC Spokesperson, Mmoni Seapolelo.

Below is a full statement of the agreement:

In the video below, SABC to pay needletime royalties for the 2014/2015 period