SAMA28: Guidelines & How To Submit Entries

Zatunes December 17, 2021


The South African Music Awards (SAMAs) exist to recognize accomplishments in the South African recording industry, by honoring and celebrating those groups and individuals who have excelled in the relevant entry or qualifying period.

The 28th edition of the SAMA awards has been thrown open for all content creators, producers and artists to submit their entries. The application entry which is now open for all will close on 31 January 2022.

Record companies and individual artists are required to submit entries in accordance with the published rules of the South African Music Awards (SAMA Rules).


SAMA entries will be done online. RISA members will receive a link from the SAMA office which directs them
to the entry site. Non RiSA members can either request a link from the office or access it from the SAMA website To complete an entry, the following assets are required to be uploaded on the site:

  • 1) If an entrant is a RiSA member, proof of payment of the prescribed RiSA levies and membership fees should be submitted.
  • 2) The proof of payment of the entry fees for each category entered.
  • 3) The prescribed number of copies of the entered album, single or DVD, in the specified format if not uploaded on the entry system
  • 4) A declaration of all licensed recordings on any album entered, in particular for the Best Dance, Best Hip Hop and Best Kwaito album genre categories.
  • 5) In the Best Collaboration category, written approval by a collaborating artist who is not signed to the entrant’s Record label. A consent letter by the management or anyone authorised by the artist can submit a letter on behalf of the artist. Where both artists are from the same record label they don’t have to submit a consent letter.
  • 6) In the Best Remix category, the original recording must be submitted and the original repertoire owner must authorize the entry in writing.
  • 7) The prescribed publicity materials of groups or individuals entered into the SAMAs if not uploaded on the entry system

A help desk with designated SAMA officials will be made available at the RiSA offices for those who are unable to enter online.


1. Entries are open to RiSA members and non-RiSA members alike. Entries are open in respect of any qualifying groups or individuals being a person who:

  • 1.1 except for the Rest Of Africa Award category, is a South African citizen or someone who has been granted permanent resident status in South Africa for a minimum period of six (6) months prior to the date of entry or has a valid work permit for South Africa during the entry period;
  • 1.2 is a South African entity and owns or controls the master recording relating to the entry in question.
  • 1.3 being in a duo or group formation, not less than fifty per cent (50%) of the members of the duo/group must comply with the citizenship or permanent residency criteria set out in Clause 2 above.

2. RiSA reserves the right to request documented/written proof that all groups or individuals qualify as set out in 2A1 above. The documents which may be requested include, amongst others, the following documents issued by the Department of Home Affairs:

  • 2.1 South African identity document.
  • 2.2 Permanent Residence Permit.

3. Unless the category states otherwise, the entries of collaborations between qualifying South African groups or individuals and their international counterparts are allowed; provided that the participation of the South African groups or individuals is given a star or equal billing.

4. The entry period for the 28th Annual SA Music Awards is as follows:

  • 4.1 All recordings (singles and albums) submitted for the 28th Annual SA Music Awards must have been commercially released (in other words first made available for purchase) in South Africa during the period 01 February 2021 to 31 January 2022 (“the entry period”).
  • 4.2 All music videos submitted for the 28th Annual SA Music Awards in the category “Best Produced Music Video must have been shown by a television broadcaster or published on any digital platform during the period 01 February 2021 to 31 January 2022 (“the entry period”).
  • 4.3 All songs short-listed for the 28th Annual SA Music Awards in the Record of the Year category will be adjudicated based on cumulative airplay over the period 01 March 2021 to the 31 March 2022. The method employed by the independent auditors in determining the shortlist will take into consideration the number of plays (“spins”) achieved during the qualifying period. A single tracking source, (e.g. Radiomonitor), will be used in determining the shortlist for Record of the Year for SAMA28.
  • 4.4 All music videos short-listed for the 28th Annual SA Music Awards in the Music Video of the year category will be adjudicated based the most played music videos sourced from RiSA Audio
    Visual Licensing NPC over the period 01 March 2021 to the 31 March 2022.

5. Unless otherwise stated, awards are presented for album entries. An album is defined as a commercially available release in any currently known format, subject to the following:

  • 5.1 it must contain not less than four (4) tracks of previously unreleased recorded performances (Remixes are excluded).

The following are excluded from this requirement:

  • 5.1.1 Category 3.3(A) – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 5.1.2 Category 3.3(B) – International Achievement Award
  • 5.1.3 Category 3.3(C2) – Best Selling Live Audio Visual
  • 5.1.4 Category 3.3(D) – Best Collaboration
  • 5.1.5 Category 3.4A) – Best Produced Music Video
  • 5.1.6 Category 3.4(D) – Remix of the Year
  • 5.1.7 Category 3.4 (E) – Best Live Audio-Visual Recording

5.2 50% of the album must feature different and previously unreleased sound recordings by the
artist or group entered (in other words, no re-released albums or “best of” or “greatest hits” compilations and the like).

6. Album combinations by different artists packaged together as a single catalogue/release may be individually submitted into the genre category that is most reflective of the majority of each recording as if they were separate albums, as long as they satisfy the provisions of Clause 4 and Clause 5 above. Please note that such submissions will be treated as separate entries, with each requiring entry fees.

7. Album combinations by an artist where there is more than one-disc comprising of distinctly different genres are entitled to be entered in each relevant genre category as if they are all separate albums as long as they satisfy the provisions of the SAMA Rules. Please note that such submissions will be
treated separate as entries, with each requiring entry fees. PS: For the purpose of this rule, one disc represents an album
8. Entries in album genre categories must be comprised of a predominance of 70% of tracks pertinent to the genre being entered into.

9. Each category except categories 3.3(A), 3.3(B), 3.3(C) and 3.5 is made up of exactly five (5) nominees. Should less than five (5) entries be received, then the category concerned will be abandoned in that particular SAMA year.

10. Entrants may only submit an album into one album genre category. Further submission of albums already entered into genre categories are only permitted in the, Best Produced Album and Best
Engineered Album categories, which are genre neutral.

11. No entry will be considered if the entrant has failed to settle any outstanding fees owing to RiSA.

See the full guidelines here



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