In what appears to be a massive coup in an ongoing campaign by SA music veteran, Don Laka, the SABC’s COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has promised that, as of tomorrow (12 May 2016), all of the national broadcaster’s radio stations will be required to play 90% local music. ICASA, the regulator that monitors and controls radio licensing in the country, currently requires all commercial stations to play at least 35% local music.
SABC’s stations include the likes of 5fm, Good Hope FM, SAFM, Metro FM, Lotus, Umhlobo Wenene, amongst others, and Laka claimed in a comment on his Facebook status that the policy will apply across the board of all SABC stations.
Jazz legend Don Laka co-founded legendary label and pioneer of Kwaito, Kalawa Jazzmee with Oskido and others. He has 6 multi-platinum albums under his bel and has played and produced with the best of them, including Brenda Fassie, Ray Phiri, Sipho Mabuse and most recently Hugh Masekela’s Grammy-nominated Jabulani.
Update: A press release has been issued by the SABC, as captured in this tweet by City Press writer, Charl Blignaut:
SABC statement: The broadcaster will play 90% local content on radio from tomorrow and increase TV quotas in July. pic.twitter.com/lPnPU3gypp
— Charl Blignaut (@sa_poptart) 11 May 2016
The press release states that “the broadcaster has taken a decision to implement 90% of local music across the 18 radio stations as from 12 May 2016.”
The release goes on to suggest that the decision is not yet written in stone; “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.” This may mean that we won’t necessarily wake up tomorrow with 90% music on all 18 SABC stations, but that the stations will be consulted before the quota is enforced.
Update: Eyewitness News has reported that the 90% rule will stand for a 3 month trial period, where they will gather feedback from listeners.
#SAMusic The SABC says the 90% local music quota will stand for three months – subject to feedback from listeners. TM
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) 11 May 2016