Auctioned recordings studios to be repositioned as arts and culture hub for continent
23 Apr 2012
The acquisition of the Bop Recording Studios auctioned for R10 million last Friday has paved way for its remodelling as a strategic economic asset that should promote arts and culture for the benefit of the North West Province, South Africa and the African continent, the North West Provincial Government said in a statement on Monday.
The recording studios rated the best in the world for its acoustics was bought by businessman Saj Chudry after it was put under the hammer by the sheriff of the Mmabatho High Court.
The studios rated third after Oceanways Studio in the United States of America and Abbey Roads Studio in London were built by the Sefalana Employee Benefits Organisation (SEBO) at a cost of US$ 91 million in 1991.
They were inherited by the Public investment Corporation from SEBO in 1994 as part of the amalgamation of government employee pension funds, leased to the SABC between 1994- 2003 but were shut down between 2003-2006 before their acquisition in 2008 by North West Consortium that included Mobe Investment and Chudry.
Mobe Investment had obtained a court order for the facility to be auctioned to cash in on its 50% shares and R5, 5 million investment in the consortium. Laura Brandigan, Indicent Obsession, The Lion King soundtrack, Place of Hope that featured US artists such as Gerald Albright, Ray Phiri and Ladysmith Black Mambazo were among some of the big names and productions that were recorded at the studios designed by world-renowned acoustic specialist Tom Hidley.
The three BRS studios are wired with diamond tipped silver cabling and are digital and analogue compatible for quality recording and production.
“Collaboration between the provincial government and Ministry of Arts and Culture will partner with the sole owner of the facility in the recapitalisation process to ensure that maximum value is extracted. The partnership will focus on positioning the studios as a global asset for recording and production, revival of the Tshukudu label to sign up country, continental and international artists, training and development of sound technicians and engineers and distribution platform to ensure financial sustainability of artists,” said North West Premier Mme Thandi Modise.
The Executive Council had in its special meeting held last Friday approved intervention that included granting a R5, 8 million guarantee to ensure that the facility, which has a potential to be repackaged and repositioned as an arts and culture hub in the continent is not stripped apart and lost.
The North West Development Corporation has been identified as the entity to finalise a partnership with the new owners for the further commercialisation of the BRS.
Lesiba Moses Kgwele
Tel: 018 388 3025
Cell: 083 629 1987
Issued by: North West Office of the Premier
23 Apr 2012
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