South African industry veteran Lindelani Mkhize's music publishing business has formed an alliance with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

The former Sony South Africa GM has reached a co-publishing agreement binding LME Publishing, a division of his Johannesburg-based company LM Entertainment (LME), and Sony/ATV South Africa.

The co-publishing agreement will see Mkhize identify song-writing talent, who will then be signed to LME Publishing. Sony/ATV will administer the songs for LME Publishing and seek synch licensing and other opportunities for the repertoire and songwriters.

"I have found that the major publishers here do a lot of lip-synching around developing black talent and entering into agreements with black-owned businesses," says Mkhize of the deal.

"Too much emphasis is placed here in South Africa on the artists, especially in the genres dominated by black artists like gospel and kwaito and Afro-Pop. I aim to work with the expertise of Sony/ATV to nurture and expose world-class songwriters."

Says Sony/ATV managing director Jay Savage: "Lindelani is one of the most successful and imaginative A&R guys of the past decade. I'm certain he will be adding some exciting talent to our pool of exceptional South African songwriters."

In South Africa, Mkhize is famous in his own right as a producer/songwriter, most notably for Joyous Celebration, the million-selling gospel outfit that has won several SA Music Awards.

While at Sony, he was also responsible for nurturing an appetite for Afro-Pop among the country's music fans, through the multi-platinum success of local acts Mafikizolo and Malaika.