By Jabu Kumalo

Monde Mtyolo, Content Specialist at Samro, refuted claims that were made by Eugene Mthethwa.

He said there is no corruption taking place at Samro, and several engagements and communication have been shared with Mthethwa to demonstrate that there is no corruption within Samro.

Mtyolo responded to The Telegram thus: “Mr Mthethwa has not opened a criminal case or a corruption claim against Samro, or better still, submitted his claim alongside any evidence which would assist him in lodging a case as a whistleblower, as this matter would have been escalated to the independent internal auditors for investigation.”

He disagreed with Mthethwa’s claim that the current leadership at Samro “is just there for itself and behaves like slave masters” who see no value in the members than big publishers.

Mtyolo also disagreed with the perception that there is no law that regulates the Royalty management at Samro, and that is why there were so many problems with money and corruption of high magnitude.

“Samro disagrees with the sentiment or perception since Samro pays out in excess of R300 million in royalties every year and also provides benefits such as Retirement Annuities, including a Family Funeral cover to all voting members.

“The current Copyright Act and the Companies Act govern Samro as it is the case with other companies which operate within this space of the industry. The point of view that regulation is the only way to make Samro efficient is considered a fallacy since Samro has already given power to its members and not regulators to manage its strategic objectives and constitution (the MOI).

“Due to the highest decision body being members, this means those members who want to see their desired change can certainly follow the organisation’s processes to influence their desired outcome.” 

He emphasised that there was no corruption taking place at Samro, specifically on the claim that Samro has been keeping more than 30% of commission or admin fees as opposed to commonly adhered to standards of not more than 20% administration.

He said, firstly, it was important to understand that Samro’s cost of doing business has been higher in some years hence the cost, although it has a firm strategy to reduce the overall admin to 25% as it can be seen with Samro attaining a 29,7% for FY2021.

Administration costs on the licence fees is collected and the difference is distributed to members.

“This would mean that the 30% being referred to is due to administration fees, which Samro has been working to decrease so that more royalties are paid to members, although it is considered negligent to see a 30% administration fee as &wrongness in the management of royalties&.

“It is to be noted that Samro does not report a profit although our income statement states the following a ‘total comprehensive income/loss attributable to Samro members’, meaning that any net profit is due to members.”

Mtyolo said Mthethwa was paid for works that were reported to Samro with the incorrect shares.

He said this was not Samro’s fault although, but simply operational efficiencies show that Samro is able to correct identified concerns that were due to members submitting incorrect information. 

“No, Samro simply applied the rules to which all members subscribe. This means Samro follows the South African Prescription Act and this is binding to all members. 

“It’s important to note that all members get to benefit from the values prescribed and this includes Mr Mthethwa.” Mtyolo concluded.

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