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Musicians union slams voice note's R3,500 claim as act of jealousy

The union has denied promising musicians money for joining the union
The union has denied promising musicians money for joining the union
Image: 123rf

Trade Union for Musicians of South Africa (Tumsa) has dissociated itself from a voice note that has been doing rounds, promising artists money if they joined the union.

The trade union has slammed the voice note as an act of jealousy by detractors Tumsa says are threatened by its fast growing membership, which it says is nearing 2,000. The voice note which has created a stir in the industry calls on musicians who make their living through creative arts to join Tumsa so that they can benefit from a minimum wage of R3,500.

The note say: “Today’s message is very important, if you have not joined Tumsa please sign to this union because we (Tumsa) are fighting really hard for all of us so that we can be paid out a minimum wage of R3,500 and that can only happen if you are registered. If you are registered on the website as a musician, whose primarily income is from the creative arts then you will be part of this movement. If you do not you will not receive anything when government does pay.”

The voice note surfaces shortly after Tumsa had sent a proposal to the department of sports, arts and culture wanting musicians to get at least R3,500 stipend from the R150m million Covid-19 relief fund which was turned down. Tumsa’s interim secretary general Gabi Le Roux said they understood well the dirty game of politics and was not fazed by the audio.

Le Roux denied that they sanctioned someone to recruit artists on their behalf.

“This was also brought to our attention by SAMIC. It is clear that Tumsa's phenomenal growth is posing a threat to other organisations in the creative sector and they will resort to this sort of politicking to try and stem the flow of independent full-time music professionals towards the Tumsa.”

He added: “As for any funding, you can ask any member of Tumsa who communicate with us every day, if we ever promised any one of them even one cent, other than to represent them to DSAC in an attempt to get them some Covid-19 Relief Funding. Nothing more, and nothing less. Tumsa has an absolutely clear record so far, which is more than it can be said of other organisations, who have failed spectacularly in the past, losing millions in departmental funding, but still resurrecting themselves and trying to subject our Trade Union to their unmandated, and unsanctioned authority.”

South African Music Industry Council (Samic) has appealed to artists and South Africans not to fall prey to false advertising.

Stanley Khoza, Samic spokesperson,said: “As Samic we know artists are facing dire times and the conditions they are finding themselves in are really bad situation and vulnerable to entertain such information. We appeal to them not to fall prey of such information.

"We have enquired about the voice note wanting to know if the voice note was a true reflection of the organisation. As a unifier of the music industry we wanted to know where the money will come from. But we encourage people to verify and investigate these voice notes when they come across them not to just believe and trust.”

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