South African composers now have a representative organisation


South Africa – An independent organisation that will represent composers has been formed following the dissolution of the Composers’ Association of South Africa (CASA), which failed to recruit a new executive committee in 2018.

The formation of Music Creators South Africa (MCSA) was facilitated by the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO), which saw the need for independent representation of music composers in the copyright and royalty collection space.

The MCSA founding board includes musicians Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Nomsa Mazwai, Tshepo Nzimande and Concord Nkabinde, as well as music professional Sipho Sithole. Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Mazwai and Nzimande are also on the CAPASSO board, which is chaired by Leslie Sedibe.

“In light of the absence of a national music composers or songwriters’ association since 2017, following the closure of CASA, it has become clear that composers and songwriters have had no voice or representation to address their issues,” MCSA said in a statement.

“Since COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, many music composers and songwriters have had ample time to do their own administration around copyright, royalties, collecting societies and the general usage of their compositions.

“This has exposed the need for a composers’ association to represent the interests of music composers. The CMO [collective management organisation] engaged a number of composers who could volunteer to establish a body to represent the interests of composers.”

CAPASSO has pledged support for MCSA with R1m ($68 000), which will be used as decided by the members at the organisation’s first general meeting.

“The founding board is now in the process of putting all required legal and necessary systems and documents in place,” MCSA said. “This will be followed by a general industry introduction of the organisation, its intentions and a drive to have interested composers sign up as members. Those members will be the official body that will be invited to the inaugural general meeting where they can approve the proposed programmes, adopt resolutions on the usage of funds, adopt the memorandum of incorporation, vote in additional board members and approve any other related MCSA business.

“The establishment of this organisation is following all processes required by law while also ensuring that the interests of composers are at its core. We are grateful for the prompting and support shown by CAPASSO through their intended funding to help establish the organisation.”

MCSA says that over the next three months it will strive to officially introduce the organisation through various public and media platforms, contact existing creative structures regarding its formation, and provide all the necessary information and documents to assist composers and songwriters who might consider signing up for membership.


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