Thursday, May 19, 2016

SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng says 90% local music radio play isn't just for 3 months but 'for life; says the 90% number 'comes from reality'.

The SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng says his new mandated 90% quota for local music needletime on all the SABC's radio channels is not just for three months but definitely permanent and "for life".

It follows after the decree last week from the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) for all 18 of the SABC's radio stations to immediately start playing 90% local music.

In March, the SABC, quoted in the Government Gazette told the broadcasting regulator Icasa that a suggested increase in local music airtime to 70% is deemed too high and could lead to a loss of SABC audiences.

The unexpected move to suddenly move to 90% local music just two months later has been widely welcomed by South African artists although it left the SABC's commercial stations like 5FM and MetroFM scrambling to find and redo playlists and initially being unable to make the 90% quota.

On Tuesday, speaking at the latest The New Age Breakfast briefing held in Woodmead, Johannesburg and broadcast on SABC2's Morning Live, Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the SABC's spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was wrong when he said the public broadcaster's new 90% local music quota will be for 3 months and then reviewed.

In an interview last week on SABC2 and SABC News (DStv 404) Kaizer Kganyago said that "we have made a decision saying let us put this thing out there, and then the public will react to it. When the public reacts, we will review it, depending on what is happening".

""SABC itself, it has not been doing justice for local people in South Africa when you talk about content. And we have been saying to ourselves as colleagues, we need to turn the corner. And I think we have turned the corner."

"People are talking about three months, I don't know where three months is coming from. 90% is for life," said the controversial Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

"And I need to explain where this three months comes from, it comes from Kaizer, and let me tell you, when Kaizer was explaining to media they did not understand him."

"What he was referring to is, quarterly we review all programmes. So we are going to review music, we are going to review our own programmes within the organisation, we review, after three months we revisit our performance that is what is going to happen, 90% will be there."

"Sometimes people believe that I'm mad. Which is good. Sometimes you need to be mad so that you can deliver," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

'That number comes from reality'
When moderator Peter Ndoro asked Hlaudi Motsoeneng where the quota number of 90% came from, Hlaudi Motsoeneng said "that number comes from reality ... and changing the lives of people and to be proud to be South Africans when we have our own artists".

Audience members asked how the SABC will ensure that the 90% local play doesn't only benefit existing celebrities, why SAMRO performance rights tariffs for royalties have not changed, what systems the SABC has to monitor the issue of local payola and allegations of playlist compilers being bribed,

"We are putting measures in place. We are aware that there's some allegations about our own colleagues within the organisation where they favour certain musicians. But we have already explained to them that we as SABC we must make sure that we are professional. We don't put favours in place," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Asked what research was conducted and if its what audiences want, Hlaudi Motsoeneng said "those who oppose this progressive decision of the SABC and stakeholders; they shall just forget. They should accept that we are moving on. They should not dream about Beyonce and others. They shall dream about local musician here."

'I am a bulldozer'
Hlaudi Motsoeneng who told the audience at the event that "I am a bulldozer", said that "when it comes to advertisers they don't have a choice. If they stay in South Africa because they do business in South Africa, they must invest in our own people".

Hlaudi Motsoeneng said "my favourite station since we played this 90 minutes [sic] is RSG. Music unites all of us even if you can't speak the language. I listen to RSG. I was happy."

Asked if the SABC isn't worried that listeners will tune out, Hlaudi Motsoeneng said "people who are loyal, and people who want to build South Africa, they will stay with SABC. And we're not in competition with this other commercial broadcasters."