The SABC, which has suffered major financial losses over the past couple of years, owes a massive R75 million to five organisations representing South African musicians.

This was revealed in a written reply by Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo, to DA Spokesperson and Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile van Damme.

van Damme had asked Dlodlo how much money the SABC owed various organisations including the SA Music Rights Organisation, SA Music Performance Rights Association, Association of Independent Record Companies, Independent Music Performance Rights Association and Recording Industry of South Africa and the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association.

Her request also asked for creditors that included any other relevant association, any amounts still outstanding, the length of time each amount had been outstanding and deadlines for payment.

Dlodlo’s response reveals that the biggest chunk of the total (R52.7 million) is owed to the SA Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) and Independent Music Performance Rights Association (Impra).

The total debt breakdown is as follows:

The organisations may be in for a long wait however. Just last month, the SABC reportedly put in a request for a financial bailout worth billions of rands, after posting a R509 million loss at the end of the 2016/17 financial year.

Ironically, the introduction of the 90% local music quota last year on SABC radio stations by Hlaudi Motsoeneng was meant to boost airplay and revenue for local musicians. This, at any rate, was Motsoeneng’s counter to anyone who warned it was doomed to fail at the time.