SAMRO says that it has completed the process of enabling qualifying members to cash out their retirement annuities from the SAMRO Retirement Annuity Fund (SRAF) if the investment amount is at a maximum value of R7 000 or below.

"Initiatives such as the retirement annuity withdrawal, and the recently announced Music Creation Support Grant, demonstrate that SAMRO is continuously on the lookout for additional benefits and mechanisms that can be leveraged to help our members during the COVID-19 pandemic," says Nicholas Maweni, chairperson of SAMRO.

"At the same time, we are continuing to work tirelessly to collect more royalties on behalf of our members. We remain committed to doing our utmost to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic does not thwart us from achieving our aims and initiatives of supporting local musicians, and strengthening the local industry as a whole," adds Maweni.

SAMRO has, since the beginning of 2021, successfully paid out in excess of R120-million in royalties to its members, which aims to demonstrate the organisation’s commitment and ability to pay out royalties in a distressed economy.

"The latest round of royalty distribution to our members is SAMRO’s way of reaffirming our commitment to supporting local music creators, especially during these tremendously difficult times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic," says Maweni.

"We are very mindful of the massive impact that the pandemic and subsequent movement restrictions have had on the earning potential of our members. We hope that these royalties will go some way towards providing relief for struggling artists and composers," Maweni adds.

Maweni says that the ongoing achievement of higher royalty collection and distribution was the result of the efficiency measures SAMRO had put in place, adding that it is one of SAMRO’s priorities to put more cash in the pockets of its members.

This can only be sustained through SAMRO ensuring that it licenses more music, continues to reduce its cost-to-income ratio and actively finds other revenue streams.

Aside from the royalty distribution, SAMRO Foundation announced last week a once-off payment to 100 qualifying music creators within certain categories, as part of the Music Creation Support Grant.

"Once again, this one-off payment is an effort to support our members during these trying times. We want to ensure that we do not lose the creativity and talent that make up the local music sector," concludes Maweni.

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