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Posted by radio On November - 16 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

[By Chloe Smith]

How Copyright Organisations and Royalties affect the Broadcasting Industry of South Africa (Part 1)

The relationship between radio stations and copyright organisations is one that goes back to the beginning of radio in South Africa. How much of what we hear broadcast across the country is dictated by copyright laws and royalties?

Copyright organisations

Copyright organisations have been in existence for the majority of the 20th century. Their main objective is to ensure that the rights of music-creating individuals and all who are associated with the production process are protected. Copyright organisations uphold the copyright laws of South Africa and monitor the payments of royalties to artists, their record labels, their publishers and anyone else that helped to create the album/song.

There are three Copyright Organisations in South Africa. The most popular is SAMRO (South African Music Rights Organisation) but SAMRO also shares the copyright floor with AIRCO (The Association of Independent Record Companies) and RISA (The Recording Industry of South Africa).

SAMRO is recognised as the primary copyrights organisation in the country, representing the interests of the largest number of local artists. AIRCO is a non-profit organisation, which strives to protect the rights of independent artists in South Africa and enable them to be locally and internationally recognised. RISA is dedicated to promoting and safeguarding the interests of local musicians and record companies, working towards an industry that represents the new South Africa.

SAMRO and RISA are both associated with the IFPI (The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), an international organisation that seeks to monitor copyright laws and associations worldwide. IFPI acts as an umbrella organisation for copyright organisations.

The Berne Convention, an international standard of copyright laws, maintains certain standards to ensure that copyright organisations all over the world approach any and all copyright and royalties issues from an internationally approved standpoint, to best protect musical artists and their works. SAMRO attends the Berne Convention yearly to maintain an internationally recognised standard in South Africa.


Local copyright law

Any musical works created in South Africa are automatically copyrighted upon creation and recording. This copyright is valid for a period of fifty years after the music is officially created (this would rely on the time of recording and distribution).

Performing Rights are owned by the author or composer of the musical works. The Public Performance royalties are paid to the copyright organisation, who takes a small administration fee and distributes the royalties accordingly to the composer(s), their publisher and any other organisation, company or individual who has been granted royalties by the composer(s).

Needletime Rights are granted by the original composer(s) of a musical work or their entrusted body of representatives, such as the copyright organisation that they are registered with. This means that any organisation that would like to distribute, broadcast or reproduce this music is then required to pay Needletime Royalties (also known as “pay-per-play”), which are collected by the copyright organisation.

The Performers’ Association of South Africa Trust (POSA) is associated with SAMRO and monitors the Needletime Royalties for any SAMRO member, ensuring that local radio stations are paying the correct amount of royalties to SAMRO for the use of the musical works.


International Law

Copyright Organisations in other countries whose members’ musical works have been broadcast in South Africa are associated with local copyright organisations. This means that radio stations pay the royalties due to the local copyright organisation, who then interacts with the copyright organisation in the other country to transfer the royalties to them for distribution.

What it means for radio

The biggest concern with royalties in South Africa is that there is no industry standard. The agreed percentage payable on physical copies of recorded music and the distribution thereof is 5% of the retail price. The royalties payable on the broadcasting of copyrighted music has no official limit or agreed upon percentage, which means that it is completely subjected to whichever agreement is reached between the original composer(s), their recording company and/or their copyright organisation. As there is no standard percentage or fee that all musicians need to adhere to, the royalties on various copyrighted music can vary greatly and contesting any royalties in a court for being excessive can be pointless and reach no satisfactory conclusion.

South African musicians rely on radio stations as a medium of advertising their new music, a source of income and a way to generate CD sales outside of the radio industry. If radio stations can no longer afford to pay the royalties demanded by the copyright organisations or the composer(s), not only will the listenership for that station suffer but the music industry in South Africa as a whole.

Is there a way for the citizens of South Africa to ensure that their radio stations survive without killing the growth of the local music industry? Should there be some sort of agreement among copyright organisations, recording companies and South African composer(s) to ensure that royalties agreed upon follow a standard set of calculations and procedures based on the composer(s) popularity, their CD sales, the revenue brought to the radio stations through the broadcast of their music and any other factors that can prove that the royalties that they demand are deserved?

The validity period of a copyright does provide a loophole for radio stations in that if the musical work was created more than fifty years ago, radio stations do not need to pay royalties on this work. Unfortunately, this loophole applies only to radio stations whose target audience wish to listen to older music and does nothing for radio stations that rely on a younger market for listenership, which means that only a few radio stations can lessen their expenses in this area.


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Posted by radio On November - 16 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Last month, METRO FM shocked the nation when it announced that the date for this annual spectacle had been moved to next year. At a press conference, spokesperson for the SABC Kaizer Kganyago said the awards were undergoing a major makeover. In a recent statement, the station has announced that it will be launching nominations for the awards from the 22nd of November extending its submission period to record companies.

The 12th year anniversary of the Metro FM awards is set to be a spectacle; the station has some surprises in store for listeners. The road to the Metro FM awards will be kicking off with a launch for the new destination and a top 5 announcement party and listeners stand a chance to win tickets to these events. Last year the awards were held at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and were hosted by Tbo Touch and Zizo Bedo. Some of the big winners at the awards included Zahara, AKA and Big Nuz who also entertained audiences with their popular hit songs. It is yet to be seen if the Metros will live up to the standards they have set in the last 11 years.

Issued by Metro FM


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Posted by radio On November - 16 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

In a statement,, has expressed disappointment by comments made by Communications Minister Dina Pule’s technical advisor, Roy Kruger, about the broadcaster’s commitment to DTT. The statement came after launched law suit proceedings against the Minister’s appointment of Sentech to manage conditional access to set-top boxes. According to the broadcaster, Kruger’s description of the lawsuit as “stupid” and the reason for delaying the DTT launch is highly irresponsible and misinformed. takes DTT and the lawsuit very seriously and has always supported the migration to DTT as a path to a multi-channel free-to-air environment.  According to’s Chief Operating Officer, Bronwyn Keene-Young says; “Kruger’s comments are unacceptable, especially in the context of’s repeated public statements that a successful DTT platform is crucial to the sustainability of terrestrial broadcasters in South Africa. Terrestrial broadcasters are losing audience share as viewers increasingly move to other platforms offering multi-channel options. It is for this reason that has a critical and vested interest in the success of DTT to maintain its viability and to offer South Africa a high quality multi-channel free-to-air product. In fact, as a single-channel free-to-air broadcaster, we probably have the most to lose by DTT delays.”

etv’s case against the Minister aims to ensure the establishment of strong and stable DTT platform and reflects its commitment to a successful launch. Keene-Young continues, “Kruger’s comments that is “holding up the country” is a false accusation and ironic given the fact DTT migration is being delayed due to a lack of regulatory certainty with no finalised DTT regulations, no finalised Sentech tariffs for broadcasters and no strong communications campaign around DTT. Anyone following’s submissions to ICASA will know that the broadcaster fully supports DTT migration but this does not mean we should be forced to accept unlawful instructions from the Minister. In fact, we wonder why Mr Kruger has sought to go down this road. What are his motives?” is well within its right to advocate for a strong and stable DTT platform so as to ensure a fair and efficient digital broadcasting environment.

Issued by etv

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Posted by radio On November - 16 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 According to data from Multichoice’s DSTV-i– past 7 day viewership, CNBC Africa’s South African viewership peaked at 600,000 viewers in the first week of October. The increase in audience numbers on channel 410 was across multiple key demographics, which saw average viewership advance by almost a third to 443, 000, up from the first quarter ratings of 335, 000 viewers.

The increase comes off the back of the channel’s first reality television show, ‘Top Trader’, which saw the winning contestant walk away with R250 000 cash. ‘Political Exchange’, which features interviews with key policymakers, had made its debut in August and is anchored by seasoned journalist Karima Brown.

According to CNBC Africa’s Chief Editor, Godfrey Mutizwa, Top Trader and political exchange both brought a different type of viewer to CNBC Africa. “Both programmes go to the heart of what we are trying to do which is educate Africa’s aspirational viewers about markets and investments while at the same time, offering a platform for business people to better understand the policy making process and the personalities behind it. “In November, Bruce Whitfield, one of the country’s best financial journalists, joined CNBC Africa, spawning two new shows.

Whitfield is presenting ‘squawk with Bruce’ and ‘Share Shootout’, further increasing the variety and content depth at the channel.

Issued by CNBC Africa

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Posted by radio On November - 16 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Kaya FM has seen a few changes to their line up in the last month or two, which has included Kuli Roberts joining the 180 Show with Bob Mabena, Mapaseka Mokwele taking over Home and Ben Dikobe filling in the 22:00 to 02:00 slots on Friday and Sunday. The Art of Sunday is another exciting new addition to the station.

The show is an urban four hour show packaged as a ‘magazine’ one listens to, delivering relevant quality information, cultural movements and entertainment with weekly series and a focus on information, entertainment, tourism and lifestyle.

Greg Maloka, MD of Kaya FM is excited about the format of Brenda Sisane’s show. “The Art of Sunday is a distinctive radio show that contributes positively to the modern values of the urban community which we as a radio station services.” He adds, “This show promises to deliver something completely different by combining old fashioned values, current topics that are of interest to the Afropolitan and cutting edge radio broadcasting creativity.”

The Art of Sunday with Brenda Sisane will start broadcasting from Sunday, 18 November between 10:00 and 14:00 on Kaya FM 95.9.


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CASE NUMBER: 46/2012











The Complainant in person

Respondent: Mr Bruce Mkhize, Regulatory Compliance Manager, Regulatory Affairs.


Hate speech – religion – political party criticised – not hate speech based on religion

Van Den Heever vs Multichoice Channel 122, Case No: 46/2012(BCTSA)



The comedy Channel of DSTV carried a cartoon in which Jesus is identified with allegations against the ANC. Hate speech not present since religion was not attacked.

Complaint not upheld.


To view full judgement, follow this link:

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Posted by radio On November - 13 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CASE NUMBER: 50/2012











Complainant: The Complainant in person.

For the Respondent: Mr JD Crawford, Legal Representative accompanied by Mr

Neil Johnson: Jacaranda Programme Manager.

Defamation – remarks on radio unjustifiably creating a suspicion that a person has criminal tendencies – held to be defamatory. Greeff vs Jacaranda 94.2 FM, Case No: 50/2012(BCTSA).


The Tribunal held that remarks which were made by a radio presenter implied that the complainant is a person not to be trusted in the light of his having killed a dog. The radio presenter’s remarks were based on a report in a newspaper. The report made it clear that the complainant’s defence would be that he had acted in defence of his dogs. The Tribunal held that the remarks amounted to defamation and upheld the complaint. A fine of R25000 was imposed on the respondent radio station in the light of the seriousness of the implications of what was broadcast.


To view the full judgement follow this link:

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[By Abongile Zizi]

Teachers in action
Image courtesy of Mindset Learn

The power of radio to educate is once again proving why radio as a medium has become a part of so many lives. Since August this year, high school students across Limpopo, Kwa Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape have been benefiting from the MTN Learn School Programme. An initiative of Mindset Learn and the Department of Basic Education, MTN Learn is a revision broadcast that is being aired by 12 community radio stations across the three provinces in a bid to ensure that matrics are ready for their final exams.

The programmes are transmitted from Mindset’s studios to selected community radio stations. Participating radio stations are Mohodi FM, Univen Radio, Moletsi FM, Greater Tzaneen FM and Sekgosese FM in Limpopo, and Forte FM, Vukani FM, Radio Graaff-Reinet, Mdantsane FM and Nkqubela FM in the Easter Cape. In KwaZulu Natal, the programmes are available to learners through Hindvani Radio and Maputaland Community Radio.

The daily broadcasts are presented by semi-experts and teachers in the Maths, Science and English learning areas.  The programmes are designed to create an interactive environment where learners can engage with the material being discussed on the radio. This is done via, telephone, SMS and on Facebook. 22 000 learners engage with the programme on Facebook where they also receive tips on how to approach exams. According to Mindset Learn’s Goodman Chauke, the programme brings a fresh angle to learning with the number of interaction between learners and programme increasing during exams.

The initiative is also a positive addition to participating community radio stations as it allows for them to fulfil their regulatory mandate of providing educational programming to the communities they serve. Community radio stations are struggling to meet their financial obligations; this programme has also brought some revenue to participating stations.

The future of this initiative looks bright, according to Chauke, the goal now is to build relationships with Grade 10 learners who will be in Grade 11 in 2013 and expand the broadcast content to cover both Grade 11 and Grade 12 material. Covering more subjects and expanding the initiative is also on the cards for the programme.



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Posted by radio On November - 12 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Since the launch of Mandela Day on the 18th of July 2009, Kaya FM has been heading the call to make the world a better place through making a difference in their communities. The station put together 67 stories of communities that were living the Mandela Day concept every day. The station’s dedication and commitment earned them the Gift of the Givers Award presented by The Vodacom Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. In 2010, along with the Bikers for Mandela initiative, Kaya FM made a pledge to broadcast two messages every day for 67 years, with a focus on the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Mr Mandela himself. The station presented a framed broadcast schedule dated July 18, 2010 to July 18, 2077. This year the station announced its intention to host the inaugural Kaya FM 67km Relay Challenge in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory which will take place on the 14th of July 2013.

To reiterate the importance of team work as a social value the relay aims to encourage corporate/ group participation. Kaya FM’s MD Greg Maloka, commented that the station wants to show what can be achieved when people come together as a collective to make a difference, so a relay made sense. He further commented that handing over the baton Mr Mandela has been carrying, literally and symbolically to the next generation will ensure the work he started will be continued. The 67km Relay Challenge hopes to see 67 000 people, compromising of 6 700 teams of 10 team members each running or walking a 6.7km leg to raise funds and create awareness for various charities, the Centre of Memory and Mandela Day.

Issued by: Khaya FM

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Posted by radio On November - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

It is that time of the year when SAARF releases the latest RAMS and while many trends since the last release have remained unchanged, there are some slight changes in pattern audience behaviour.  Overall time spent listening to radio has remained unchanged, time spent listening to radio in large urban areas continues to decrease. The opposite is true for many community radio stations around the country.



There have been some significant increases in listenership statistics from community radio stations such as Franshoek 87.6 FM in the Western Cape from 0.2% in August to 0.4% in October. In the Northern Cape more than one station has managed to show significant growth in listenership numbers, Bosveld Stereo listenership jumped from 0.6% in August to 1.7% in October, Moretele Community Radio 106.1FM jumped from 3.0 to 4.7 and Radio Mafisa went from 4.7% to 7.5%. The total increase in community radio listenership in the Northern Cape shifted from 34.3% to 40.1%.  This pattern of increase in listenership is also prevalent in the Free State with a total jump from 36.2% to 36.4%. Limpopo community radio listenership exhibited a different trend with a significant drop from 23.2% to 19.1. Ukhozi FM still leads as an audience favourite, sitting at 51.1%, followed by Umhlobo Wenene FM at 10.1%. Lisedi FM is third with 6.1% of audiences listing it as a favourite.


To see the complete presentation, go to:









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