South African Music Awards (SAMAs) 2023 have been cancelled following public outcry over the R20 million budget allocated for the event.
The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) government withdrew from hosting the Awards in Durban next month.
On Wednesday, ANC Provincial Chairperson and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma, confirmed the cancellation during a media briefing.
“Unfortunately, in the process of ensuring transparency, official and public documents have been weaponised against the department to scandalise this national event with a global following,” he added. “The R28 million and other figures being thrown around are part of a campaign aimed at confusing the people. The actual amount is around R20 million before VAT and this amount is based on our last consultation, as we have repeatedly stated that we have had ongoing consultations.”
However, he made it known that the three-year sponsorship deal for the SAMAs remains intact despite the cancellation.
The 2023 SAMA ought to take place on 17 and 18 November, at the Durban International Convention Centre.
“We thank the MEC for heeding our calls after we sounded the alarm earlier this month. From the outset, we asserted that this was either an ill-advised attempt by the government to waste taxpayers’ money on a vanity project or a potentially sinister ploy, considering the absence of an itemised budget with accurate and substantiated figures,” ActionSA said in a statement.