SABC to put an end to 90 per cent local

21 April 2017

Regulation & Policy

The SABC is set to scrap the 90 per cent local content broadcasting decree, introduced in July 2016, that has drained the SABCs coffers, disrupted its income streams and ad revenue, and saw listeners and viewers flee.

The Post reports that the SABCs new interim board is urgently set to scrap and overturn the local content decree that was unilaterally introduced by the public broadcasters former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng in mid-July that decimated SABC audiences ranging from the listenership of radio stations like Lotus FM to TV channels like SABC3.

Parliaments special ad hoc committee investigating maladministration within the SABC was told in January that Motsoenengs abrupt and unilateral local content edict which he several times claimed personal credit for as his sole idea, was never a policy and was never tabled before the SABC board as a decision for a vote.

The SABCs new interim board, tasked with trying to save the beleaguered South African public broadcaster, is now taking action to overturn the 90 per cent local content implementation.

This will see the SABC return to the previous 60 per cent local content quota the standard set by South Africas broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Motsoenengs 90 per cent radio needletime for local music and 80 per cent TV content decisions for SABC3 saw dramatic listenership and viewership losses for the SABC over the past nine months.

Meanwhile the SABC also had to ramp up spend on costly local content - an unsustainable situation for the already battling broadcaster now on the brink of financial collapse and urgently needing another bail-out.

We are not diverting from local content, SABC interim board member Krish Naidoo told The Post. We are just trying for a more structured approach.

Naidoo who said Motsoenengs 90 per cent local decision undermined the entire business of the SABC, said that he will support it to be scrapped. It impacted on the entire revenue stream. Both listeners and advertisers dropped, likely as a consequence of 90:10.

He said the SABC will look at a new process of to develop local content that will be done in consultation with artists and communities.

Source: Thinus Ferreira for Channel24