Cash-strapped Ukhozi FM pulls plug on showgrounds concert

2009-05-28 00:00

THE keenly anticipated Ukhozi FM concert, which takes place annually at the Royal Showgrounds, has been cancelled due to the cash crisis at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

The concert, a popular feature on the midlands music calendar, features some of the best musical talent the country has to offer.

A dozen artists were expected to perform, including maskandi heavyweights Imithente, Mgqumeni, hip-hop band Teargas and Durban-based kwaito group Big Nuz.

“We heard the news yesterday afternoon. The budget constraint is for a limited period, but it is unfortunate that we find ourselves on the receiving end,” said show general manager Terri Strachan.

The concert was due to be held a week after the show, on June 7.

According to SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago, the corporation withdrew its support for the Royal Show concert two years ago.

Ukhozi FM, in the SABC stable, continued with the concert last year because it had the funds. But this year, funds have run out.

Kganyago said the Royal Show is not the only event the SABC has withdrawn its support from.

“As has been reported all over the news, the SABC is having financial problems and therefore common sense dictates that we cannot continue supporting all the non-core broadcasting events because our core function is broadcasting and we do not have funds for [concerts and other events] anymore.”

Kganyago added that there is no clear indication how long the moratorium will last.

The cancellation marks the first break between Ukhozi FM and the Royal Show in 15 years.

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