South African Music Awards organisers consult with contractual partners after EDTEA cancels

Mpho Popps, Lawrence Maleka, Nandi Madida and Robott Boii. Picture: Instagram

Mpho Popps, Lawrence Maleka, Nandi Madida and Robott Boii. Picture: Instagram

Published Oct 25, 2023


KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma’s, decision to cancel the hosting of next month’s South African Music Awards (Samas) has left organisers in quite a conundrum.

The decision follows an outcry over the money to be spent; however, Duma denies that the figure is R28 million.

With the awards meant to take place in no less than three weeks, the news comes as a disappointment to the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA), the organisers of the Samas.

“We have a three-year contract with EDTEA and will be consulting with our contractual partners to find out what led to this decision and carve a way forward.

“As such, we will advise in due course what the next steps for Sama29 will be.”

Duma explained on Wednesday, during a press conference in Durban, that the decision was taken after a wide consultation with several stakeholders.

Samas organisers in their statement, they took aim at the long-running awards being “characterised as a conduit for looting”.

“It is problematic that an institution of great importance to the pulse of our cultural economy has been violated for cheap politicking.

“What has been lost in all of the resultant noise are the economic benefits of hosting a show of this magnitude for any city or province.

“The Samas is not a superfluous party; any such assertion flies in the face of the contribution made by the Sama to the Mzansi Golden Economy.”

Organisers have lamented that the Samas would have created opportunities for those in the province and artists.

Regarding the alleged sponsorship amount from EDTEA, the organisers refuted that none of them were a true investment made by the department.

“In addition to a provincial sponsorship, which was not sufficient to cover all the production, eventing, and promotional needs, the Sama still had to solicit and rely on the generosity of commercial sponsors in organising this proudly South African annual event.”

Last year’s Samas were filled with many complaints prompting organisers to go back to the drawing board, even opting to change the location from Sun City to Durban, but things are appearing very rocky from sponsored Prasa train rides to now the host city cancelling.

One has to wonder what the future holds for the awards.