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Recording Industry of South Africa

The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) is a trade association that represents the collective interests of producers of music sound recordings, major and independent record labels in South Africa. Formerly known as the Association of the South African Music Industry (ASAMI) it was established in the 1970s. The association consists of approximately 2,000 members, including the big four record labels, Sony Music, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Bros. Records (part of Gallo Warner in South Africa).

Recording Industry of South Africa
RiSA logo
FocusMusical sound recordings and sales

RiSA is responsible for running the annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs) and for acknowledging certification awards for album sales. A weekly top 20 album chart is aired every Saturday by Radio Sonder Grense, based on CD sales figures compiled by RiSA. RiSA is recognised by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry as the official National Group for the Recording Industry in South Africa.


The RiSA has various rules and procedures which govern membership, but in practice applicants (any record company) are not rejected. No current member has been expelled from the organisation. RiSA has a policy to seek to accommodate diversity within its ranks and structures. The ultimate control of the organisation is vested in the members in an annual general meeting where an executive of twelve members is elected. No company or group of companies may have more than two representatives on the board of directors which elects its own chairman. The chairperson, in consultation with and on the advice of the board of directors, appoints various executive members and other member representatives to serve on a variety of subcommittees which report directly to the executive committee through a duly elected chairman. The organisation itself and the board of directors and the subcommittees are served by a full-time secretariat comprising seven people and the RiSA Anti-Piracy Unit (RAPU). The board of directors meet on a quarterly basis. Subcommittees are expected to meet on a monthly basis and to report their activities to the board of directors through the secretariat.[1]

Membership of the RiSA entitles a member to the following benefits:

  1. To have its repertoire protected by the RiSA Anti-Piracy Unit to the extent that the unit is able to do so. The RAPU is only entitled to carry out its work on behalf of members and in regard to counterfeit products that violate the copyrights of members. RiSA members are required to support the RAPU in regard to proving chain of title in regard to their intellectual property rights which have been infringed by the manufacture of counterfeit products.
  2. Entering their releases for the annual South African Music Awards at a preferential rate compared to non-members.
  3. Using the services of RiSA to participate in the licensing of their video products to broadcasters and other.
  4. RiSA members are required to operate subject to a Code of Conduct. RiSA members or artists contracted to RiSA members are entitled to refer controversy to RiSA which they believe are subject to the provisions of the Code of Conduct and RiSA endeavours to resolve such controversies through mediation when its possible to do so.
  5. Legal advice on a variety of matters affecting their business regularly requested by RiSA's secretariat by a large number of members. Such advice is rendered free of charge although members are required to consult their own legal advisors in relation to specific disputes of litigation.
  6. Being part industry recognition agreements with representative bodies of copyright holders. If a record company is not a member, the company will have to negotiate with these entities individually regarding a mechanical transfer rate.[1]

Format shifting and illegal copyingEdit

The South African Copyright Act of 1978[2] states: "You may not make a copy of a sound recording without the permission of the author." This has been interpreted to mean that it is illegal to convert a CD to MP3 in South Africa.[3] Legal proceedings have never been instituted against a party in South Africa who converted a CD to MP3 format for personal and private use.

RiSA is recognised by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry as the official national group for the recording industry in South Africa, protecting all artists in the country.

RiSA certificationsEdit

Since August 2006, albums were required to sell 20,000 copies to be certified gold, and 40 000 copies to be certified platinum. These requirements were later adjusted for albums released from 1 December 2015; albums would need to achieve sales of 15,000 to be certified gold and 30,000 to be certified platinum.[4]

Album chartEdit

A weekly top 20 album chart is aired every Saturday by Radio Sonder Grense, based on CD sales figures compiled by RiSA.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "RiSA". Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "South Africa: Copyright (No. 125, Amended Copyright Act), Act, as consolidated 1992". Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Warning: Converting a CD to MP3 illegal in SA".
  4. ^ "RiSA New Certification Might Just Mean KO, Riky Rick And AKA sold platinum". SA Hip Hop Mag. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  5. ^ "SA Top-20". Radio Sonder Grense. Retrieved 5 December 2015.