SABC radio to reconsider 100% local airplay

The SABC will review its recent policy of playing 100% local music on PBS (public broadcasting service) stations at the end of this month.

The broadcaster’s spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said: “We made it clear that the 100% local will run from May to the end of July.”

From May, PBS radio stations (excluding public-commercial stations such as 5fm) played local and African music to give visitors to the Soccer World Cup a taste of “our music”.

Responding to the Creative Workers Union of South Africa’s (Cwusa) call to continue playing 100% local music on PBS radio, Kganyago said the campaign was extended to the end of this month because it is heritage month.

Cwusa general secretary Oupa Lebogo said playing 100% local music benefited artists as they got more exposure and royalties and would not have to die paupers.

“Our members have said that we must send a clear message to the SABC to hold it there, and never stop playing 100% local content,” the union said.

Lebogo said he couldn’t rule out a possible march or court interdict against the SABC but Cwusa would first have to consult its members.

Kganyago, however, said the SABC had always exceeded the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s (Icasa’s) required quota of 55% local music for public service broadcasting.
 
“At the end of next week we are going to assess the 100% local airplay project and then decide where we are going because we can’t assume that everybody in the country wants to listen to local music only.”

Music Industry Federation of SA (Mifsa) spokesperson Mandla Maseko said the SABC agreed to up local music video content on television.

“We agreed in principle that the SABC will play a reasonable number of local music videos,” said Maseko.

Kganyago could not confirm this agreement.

Icasa’s spokesperson, Paseka Maleka, said: “The authority cannot penalise the broadcaster for playing 100% local music. In fact, the authority would be happy that the broadcaster will be recognising and nurturing local talent.”

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