SABC announces 80 percent local TV, new shows

JOHANNESBURG – South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Wednesday announced the implementation of the public broadcaster’s 80 percent local content quota and the new TV programming on some of the channels.

During a media briefing at the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, Motsoeneng revealed the changes which would be effective from July 1.

"As an organisation we are moving forward towards an era of great transformation in terms or of programming, where all these changes are aimed at placing our audience’s needs and wants."

He said people criticised with no knowledge or background and thought that increasing local content would lower standards, and they failed to realise that the move was about increasing opportunities in the local creative industry.

According to Motsoeneng, the organisation has already set aside a budget of R600 million to fund local productions and cultivate new talent.

"We are going to spend money on local content to benefit our own emerging talent in the country, and we want all official languages to be represented."

He also encouraged people who think they have what it takes to produce engaging and interesting local content to approach the SABC. "[The] reality is international content is not doing well for business organisation."

The channel which has gone through major changes by introducing three local shows is SABC3, which had previously shown predominantly international content. The channel also has a new logo, which according to Motsoeneng, reflected the diversity of the country.

The SABC2 channel had revised time slots for news and other programmes, whereas SABC1 hasn’t yet introduced any changes as it has always reflected more local content.

But the SABC COO said more changes would be implemented on all the channels but they wouldn’t be hurried because they were still looking for people with fresh talent who would produce appealing content.

Motsoeneng concluded that he was not bothered by negative publicity because competitors in his eyes don’t exist, only the SABC exists.

The broadcaster has already implemented the 90 percent local music quota on its radio stations, a decision backed by Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi who said the quota would ensure that local artists benefit financially, and would trigger more economic activity within the country.