Simon "Mahlathini" Nkabinde, the lead singer of Mahlathini and of the Mahotella Queens, was world famous but died a pauper.
But his death spurred former arts and Culture Minister Ben Ngubane into establishing a music industry team to find ways of ensuring financial security for artists.
The team recommended the establishment of a social security scheme.
The Creative Workers' Union of South Africa (Cwusa) has taken up the idea and plans to have a social security scheme up and running by next year.
Cwusa president Mabutho "Kid" Sithole said the union, with the backing of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation, the SABC and the department of arts and culture, had mobilised stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the Seriti Social Security Scheme for Creatives.
Sithole said affordability would be a key focus of the scheme and the union was considering a R30 a month premium for a R15000 payout.
Sithole said members of the scheme would have to be members of the union and would receive medical aid cover and short-term insurance benefits.