SA music industry celebrates SABC’s 90% local music policy move

At least 90% of music played at the SABC’s 18 radio stations will from Thursday comprise of local music in a bid to prioritise homegrown content, the public broadcaster said.

This came after consultations with local music producers, said SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

“The music to be played will be across all genres, with a special focus on genres such as kwaito, jazz, reggae and gospel. In addition, the SABC will play more music from legends in the industry as well as up and coming artists,” said Kganyago.

“The SABC will engage its audiences to evaluate whether they are satisfied with these changes. This process will pave the way for the corporation to make an informed decision going forward.”

Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the decision would ensure that the public broadcaster reflected the various styles of local music on offer.

“Our respective radio stations will not be confined to playing local music which is language specific, we want to come to a point where any of our 18 radio stations can become a home for all South Africans. This cross-pollination of music is very important for the public service broadcaster, because part of our mandate is to reflect the South African story, and music is an important part in ensuring that the SABC fulfills this mandate.”

Regarding television, the corporation will use local music fillers between programmes.

Kganyago said the content overhaul would from July 1 see the SABC increase its local content offering on television with commissioning editors appointed in all provinces at SABC offices.

“Recently, the SABC encouraged independent and emerging producers through a successful engagement, to approach the corporation with fresh proposals and content. The SABC looks forward to receiving contributions from all over the country,” he said.

Music industry welcomes move
The South African music fraternity on Wednesday welcomed the decision by the public broadcaster.

Legendary musicians and veteran musicians took to social media soon after the announcement on Wednesday evening, hailing the SABC and Motsoeneng for the move.

Jazz legend, Don Laka, said on Facebook: “Today I am proud to be South African. This man Hlaudi made me share a tear for the first time in many years. Tomorrow you will hear 90% South African music on all SABC radios … please share! Freedom at last!”

For years Laka has been an activist for local content on South African radio stations.

Veteran radio personality, Bob Mabena, on Twitter said: “Somebody give SABC’s Hlaudi a Bells. The man has redeemed himself. Local content goes up on SABC.”

Hip Hop artist, AKA, also praised the SABC, in a series of Tweets saying: “This is the greatest victory in the history of South African music. Finally, an environment in which patriotism will flourish.”

The public broadcaster also promised to use local music fillers between television programmes.

As from 01 July 2016, the SABC said it would increase its local content offering on television even more. – African News Agency 

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