Friday, October 28, 2016

Hlaudi Motsoeneng now wants new names for the SABC's radio stations, saying 'we are tired of names like Radio Lotus'; attacks SA Constitution.

The SABC's controversial boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng now wants to change the names of the SABC's radio stations because he's "tired of names like Radio Lotus" and attacked South Africa's Constitution, saying "the Constitution itself doesn't favour black people the way it has been written".

After a third of the listenership of the SABC's Indian radio station Lotus FM has fled over the past few months, Hlaudi Motsoeneng now wants to change its name saying "we are tired of names like Radio Lotus and so forth".

Speaking on Wednesday in Giyani, the famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng, now the head of corporate affairs at the SABC that posted a loss of R411 million, said the SABC is urging people to come forward to rename the SABC's radio stations.

"We urge you as traditional leaders to take part in naming of our radio stations in a way that will represent our culture. We are tired of having names like Radio Lotus and so forth".

Hlaudi Motsoeneng's abrupt plan for 90% local music airplay has caused chaos in its abrupt implementation.

The past few months since June the SABC's national and regional radio stations catering to specific language demographics have been forced to include and "cross-promote" music genres on radio stations that listeners are not tuning in for in the first place - for instance Afrikaans songs on the Sesotho Lesedi FM and kwaito on Lotus FM in KwaZulu-Natal catering to the Indian diaspora.

Lotus FM has already shed a third of its listenership in just three months that it had built up over decades, as listeners of the SABC's Indian station tuned the dial to other commercial and community radio stations.

The lotus, the national flower of India and Egypt, is of big cultural and spiritual significance for the Indian community.

"At SABC we have introduced 90 percent local content. This does not only include musicians but also drama, news and cultural contents. We want to give a chance to upcoming producers to take part rather than giving British and Americans money and airtime," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Wednesday.

"We used to take R600 million abroad just to watch the Queen of Britain the whole day but since we said 90% local content, that R600 million is used to pay local artists and create jobs for our people in the country."

Speaking on eNCA's Judge for Yourself this week discussing the ongoing crises at the SABC, Krish Naidoo who resigned his position as SABC board member at the beginning of this month, slammed Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

"Hlaudi Motsoeneng isn't busy with transformation. I think Hlaudi Motsoeneng is looking at projects within the SABC that could look Hlaudi look good".

"You empower local artists in a very responsible way and in a conscientious way where you empower local artists where it's done in a streamlined way so you don't upset local programming. You do it in consultation with stakeholders".

"Lotus FM has lost one third of its listenership because it's been asked to play all sorts of music which doesn't resonate with their listeners. Funders have pulled out, advertisers have pulled out and listeners have pulled out," said Krish Naidoo.

"The 90% local content decree was never a SABC board decision," said Krish Naidoo.

"Most of the SABC board members - for whatever reason - become beholden to Hlaudi Motsoeneng. I don't know what that reason is, but some of us have had the courage not to be captured by him but to stand up and speak for our integrity and our morality and did what we thought is right".

'I think as president Zuma has done well'
On Thursday - again going completely off-message in various rants at the latest The New Age breakfast briefing broadcast on SABC2 and SABC News on DStv where he is often a panelist - Hlaudi Motsoeneng fought back.

"Even some of the SABC board, I have a serious problem. Because they are captured by certain politicians."

"You can see even now, those who resign, they resign because someone captured them from politics," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng. "When you fight SABC, you fight this current board. You're fighting transformation."

"This current board under Prof Maguvhe has done very well," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng, also reiterating the SABC's focus sunshine journalism on doing "positive" stories.

"You can't just talk about negativity. You also need to reflect positive story in South Africa. There are good positive stories in South Africa. Not from politicians only, from individuals."

He said "president Zuma, when it comes to education, he has produced engineers and doctors. And people are not talking about those good stories," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng, saying "but I think as the president of the country he has done well".

Attacks constitution
Hlaudi Motsoeneng also attacked South Africa's constitution.

"The Constitution itself doesn't favour black people the way it has been written. Not people themselves who are taking decisions but the Constitution itself. The policy itself. But the policy is very interesting. Who write the policy?"

"It's certain SOE's. Which is us. The same black people, they write policies that they know themselves, this policy they are not in the interest of their own black people. They're interest for the big companies because there's certain individuals they are captured," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

About the gutted SABC board that's inquorate he said: "The current three board members they shall stay there at the SABC. They shall not even think of resigning. So that we fix the SABC and change the process of portfolio committee to appoint."

He said he wants the process of SABC board member appointments changed and wants the minister of communications "to recommend to the president for the appointments of the board members, like other SOE's."

'SABC crisises are manufactured'
SABC acting CEO James Aguma said "the board can still continue. The crisises at the SABC are manufactured as far as I'm concerned".

"No employee is not paid. No supplier is not paid. Where is the crisis? Where is the crisis? Is the crisis not manufactured?"