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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the censorship of popular music in South Africa during the apartheid (1948–1994) and post-apartheid years, as well as changes in musical censorship resulting from the country’s transition to democracy. It considers the different forms of censorship in South Africa, paying particular attention to central government mechanisms of music censorship through the former Directorate of Publications and the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Despite the relaxation of formal mechanisms of censorship since the early 1990s and the significant freedom of expression enjoyed by musicians, the article shows that regulation and censorship of popular music remain in effect. Finally, it assesses the current situation with regards to musical censorship in South Africa and the implications of present legislation for the future.

Keywords: censorship, popular music, South Africa, apartheid, democracy, South African Broadcasting Corporation, freedom of expression, musicians

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