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By Dimakatso Modipa

The SAMIC calls on government to resolve the SAMA impasses.
The SAMIC calls on government to resolve the SAMA impasses.

The South African Music Industry Council (SAMIC) is shattered at the debilitating news that the KZN provincial government has pulled the plug on the South African Music Awards, due to skewed and irrational pressure from opportunists who do not have the best interest of the performing arts sector.

The SAMIC calls on government to resolve the SAMA impasses.

The SAMAs are an unrivalled legacy project at the epicentre of the Mzansi Golden Economy and have an indelible legacy and positive impact for the music industry and host city.

President of the South African Music Industry Council (SAMIC) Vusi Leeuw said harsh and rash decision was taken to pull out much-needed funding in support of the much-vaunted event.

As SAMIC we believe that the starting point is to salvage the SAMAs and ensure that they are mounted as planned by engaging meaningfully with stakeholders, and with those affected or potentially affected on how this shocking precedent is an affront to the performing arts in particular and the creative industries in general.

At a time of one of the worst pandemic in human history, COVID-19, musicians soothed the hearts and minds of our resilient

Musicians continue not only to inspire, empower individuals as they contribute to this country’s social cohesion but deserve to be honored for their excellence through the longstanding SAMAs.

SAMIC intends to rally all stakeholders and put measures in place to prevent and mitigate harm the decision to pull out will have on the music industry.

“We call on the government to resolve the impasse and mitigate the risk of reversing a well-established property that has delivered for the sector over the past two decades,” Leewu said.

He said SAMIC believes that there ought to be a platform to share the enormous opportunity for ongoing dialogue and fostering an environment for advancing the music industry and post the hullabaloo about the SAMAs, all stakeholders must gather around a South African Music Industry Indaba.

The City of eThekwini in partnership with the KZN provincial government was not hosting the SAMAs for the first time.

The eThekwini has in the past enjoyed an increased national profile, growth in local employment, immediate and short-term economic benefits, and increased long-term investment.

The SAMAs facilitates the sharing of music culture, values, connections and expertise, bringing significant cultural and economic upside potential to people and businesses attending the events and the host city itself.

This activity involves using the local infrastructure, transport systems, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and services, providing a much-needed cash injection into the local economy.

Nominees and winners continue to benefit from being part of the SAMAs as they open doors for them locally and internationally as the only authentic South African Music Industry accolades.

“We urge the government to treat this matter with paramount urgency especially if they take the plight of the South African musicians and the South African music industry seriously.

The music industry plays a vital role in the cultural expression and economic growth of our nation,” said Leeuw.

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