The Kiffness. Picture: Instagram

The Kiffness, real name David Scott, criticised the SABC on Monday for not paying artists needle time royalties to the South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra). 

In the lengthy Instagram post, Scott detailed how he recently joined Sampra who is in charge of artist their royalty fees for artists and musicians when their music is played publicly.

He was shocked to discover that the Sampra owed him more than R60 000 in needle time royalties and was equally shocked to find out the SABC hasn't paid them a cent .

He also said the SABC owed R55.5 million to the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) in performance royalty fees and that, back in the day, artists were able to buy houses with that money.

Scott also revealed that he knew of people who had bribed DJs at Metro FM to play their music. 

He also wanted to make it clear he wasn't aiming his criticism at his friends who worked in radio, specifically 5fm DJs Nic Hamman, Das Kapital and Forbes & Fix, but at the "useless a***holes at the top who have no one’s interests at heart but their own".

Scott also made a call to action to big local names such as AKA, Cassper Nyovest and Nasty C to follow suit and stop allowing the SABC to play their music, especially for the session musicians who relied on the royalty money to feed their families. 

View this post on Instagram

I refuse to let the SABC exploit & play any of my music until they start paying artists what’s owed to them.⠀ ⠀ I recently became a member of South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) who are in charge for paying artists needle time royalties, including session musicians i.e. the guitarist or drummer behind the scenes who played on a song. Those are royalties for music that plays on radio, restaurants, shops etc… Every establishment that plays music in public spaces legally has to pay a SAMPRA license, and then SAMPRA pays their members out accordingly. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that SAMPRA owed me over R60k in needle-time royalties for my music that has played in various public spaces over the years. I was shocked to find out that not one cent of that payout came from the SABC. And unsurprisingly, it’s because the SABC have never paid SAMPRA. It’s illegal, but they either think they’re above the law or they simply just don’t care (or both). ⠀ ⠀ It’s funny because most of my music that has played in public spaces has come from SABC stations, so my R60k payout is only coming from private stations like 947 & Kfm 94.5 and the occasional restaurant and grocery shop. After countless enquiries, SAMPRA couldn’t disclose to me how much money has come from where, so I’ve had to draw my own rough calculations. But judging by the amount of airtime I’ve received through Primedia stations like Kfm & 947 in comparison to the SABC, I think it’s safe to say that I’m owed in the region of R60k or more by the SABC in needletime royalties. ⠀ ⠀ Please note that this has nothing to do with some of my friends & DJs like Nic Hamman, Das Kapital & Rob Forbes who are excellent DJs & I love listening to their shows on 5fm. This message is directed at the useless arseholes at the top who have no one’s interests at heart but their own. By all means if you like 5fm, keep listening. I don’t expect you to care that South African musicians are being robbed of their livelihood, but I think it’s important that this information becomes public knowledge. Do with it as you please. ⠀ ⠀ No pay? No play. It’s as simple as that #NoPayNoPlay

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