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HomeEntertainmentThe Controversy Surrounding The SAMAs Funding: A Feeding Trough for Politicians?

The Controversy Surrounding The SAMAs Funding: A Feeding Trough for Politicians?

The music industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with artists and creatives struggling to make ends meet. Events like the Samas provide much-needed exposure and opportunities for these individuals.

The South African Music Awards (Samas) have found themselves at the center of a storm after claims emerged that the funding from the KwaZulu-Natal government was being used as a “feeding trough for politicians.”

However, the organizers have vehemently denied these allegations, calling them nothing more than cheap politicking.

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RiSA CEO, Nhlanhla Sibisi, expressed his disappointment at the last-minute withdrawal of funding from the KZN Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) department.

The awards, which were scheduled to take place on November 17-18 at the Durban International Convention Centre, now hang in the balance.

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Sibisi stated, “We have a three-year contract with Edtea, and we will consult our contractual partners to find out what led to this decision and find a way forward.” The sudden turn of events has left musicians and creatives in a precarious position, as they are often the ones who bear the brunt of such controversies.

The Samas had the potential to create more than 150 new job opportunities, a much-needed boost for the struggling industry. Additionally, the event was expected to bring in thousands of music supporters from across the country, the continent, and the world.

This influx of visitors would have provided a significant economic boost to the province and the hospitality industry, with hotel groups confirming up to 350 rooms per night between November 12 and 20.

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However, the controversy surrounding the funding has cast a shadow over these prospects. The KZN executive council and other stakeholders were consulted before the decision to withdraw funding was made. Opposition parties, including ActionSA, had also raised objections and even written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, urging him to intervene.

It is worth noting that the eThekwini municipality had committed R25m for the Samas, but RiSA CEO Sibisi clarified that this was for infrastructure and logistics support, not a financial contribution. Despite these clarifications, the allegations of a “feeding trough for politicians” continue to circulate.

While it is essential to ensure transparency and accountability in the allocation of public funds, it is equally crucial not to undermine the cultural and economic significance of events like the Samas.

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The music industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with artists and creatives struggling to make ends meet. Events like the Samas provide much-needed exposure and opportunities for these individuals.

As the controversy unfolds, it is crucial for all parties involved to engage in open and honest dialogue.

Transparency and clear communication can help address any concerns and ensure that the South African Music Awards continue to thrive as a celebration of the country’s diverse musical talent.

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Yvonne Francis for SurgeZirc SA
Yvonne Francis for SurgeZirc SA
Are you a fan of the latest celebrity gossip and breaking entertainment news? Look no further than Yvonne Francis, the talented writer behind SurgeZirc SA's entertainment news section. With her finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry, Yvonne brings you the juiciest stories and exclusive interviews with your favorite stars.
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