For Immediate Release

Date 18 June 2019

Protect Performers Protect our Heritage

The inability of artist, musicians and creatives to benefit directly from their talents is common refrain in the South African creative Arts industry. The South African Youth Council(SAYC) and by extension the South African Youth, can attest to an infinite number of talented individuals in South Africa’s music culture (for instance) who are now paupers, as a result of unscrupulous, parasitic and exploitative collecting societies both in and out of the country.

The status quo legislation is not only archaic, it laced with structural impediments especially for Black South Africans.

It is for this reason that SAYC, supports initiatives by the government to promulgate legislation which protects the intellectual property of South African’s. In its text it is clear that the government has an express intention to protect creatives from unscrupulous collecting societies.

Perhaps most importantly, the Copy Right Amendment Bill, codifies what is referred to as a fair use doctrine by adopting a hybrid model which has a direct bearing on the youth in so far access to educational material is concerned. Under the new regime of copy right law South Africans will for the first time be able to create, innovate and exploit the opportunities that come with a digital economy as we embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

We note that those argue that the bill will have adverse effects on the economy are the very same individuals who exclusively own the rights to Mama Mirriam Makeba’s artistic works, or that of Simon Linda and many other South African greats, at the expense of their immediate families.

It is time we protect our future by ensuring that where educational literature and or material is concerned no barrier should be an impediment for the acquisition of knowledge. In the same breath we must ensure that our heritage, the works of our forebears, are given the necessary stature and protection. This can only happen if President Cyril Ramaphosa assents to the Copy Rights Amendment Bill.


Thembinkosi Josopu
South African Youth Council President