Local artists slam Beyonce proposal

Local artists are fuming over plans to bring American artist Beyonce for awards ceremony

Beyonce Knowles in New York. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Officials are still considering a proposal by a company promising to bring US singer Beyonce Knowles to the 2012 South African Sports Awards, the Sport and Recreation Department said on Wednesday.

There has been public outcry following the news that it may cost the country R17 million to bring the international superstar.

But the department argued that a sponsor would foot the bill.

Local artists, as well as Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi, took to social networking sites to question the plans.

Legendary poet and musician Mzwakhe Mbuli said the issue goes deeper than the cost.

"We've got legends [in the country] like Hugh Masekela and Caiphus Semenya. I am really opposed to millions of rands spent on a single artist from America, instead of [using] our own. Let us be proudly South African."

During the 2011 awards, Mbalula managed to get US actresses Vivica A Fox, Regina King and singer Brandy Norwood.