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SABC TO PLAY 90% LOCAL MUSIC

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IN an effort to ensure local content reflecting the diversity of South African cultures is prioritised, the South African Broadcasting Corporation ( SABC ) says it will play 90% local music across its 18 radio stations from Thursday.

 Local artists have long called for the percentage of South African music on community or public radio stations’ playlists to be increased. They argue that without radio airplay they are unable to grow an audience and thus cannot sell records.

“The SABC will engage its audiences to evaluate whether the audiences are satisfied with these changes. This process will pave the way for the corporation to make an informed decision going forward,” the broadcaster said in a statement on Wednesday.

The music to be played would 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 and up-and-coming artists.

SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said: “The SABC has taken a radical decision about its local content offering across all its radio, television and digital platforms. It is in this context that the decision on local music will ensure that the SABC fully reflects 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,” said Mr Motsoeneng.

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To promote local content on television, the broadcaster will use local music fillers between programmes.

From July, the SABC will increase its local content offering on television. Recently the broadcaster called on independent and emerging producers to come up with fresh proposals and content.

“The SABC looks forward to receiving contributions from all over the country. To support this initiative, commissioning editors will be appointed in all the provinces at the various SABC offices,” the broadcaster said.