Veteran actress and activist Florence Masebe has hit back at the SABC interim board’s plan to potentially reverse the 90% local content quota‚ warning that it would have a disastrous effect on the local music industry.
The board’s deputy chair‚ Mathatha Tsedu‚ told a Parlimentary Portfolio Committee on Communications on Monday that the interim board had drafted a recovery plan that included a proposal to reverse Hlaudi’s content policy. He further claimed that the decision had brought about a drop in audience numbers and advertising.
Florence told TshisaLIVE that she did not agree with the decision and said that it would move the South African music industry “100 steps back“.
“We honestly cannot implement something like the 90% local quota and then take a 100 steps back with a decision like this. I understand that the board needs to make certain decisions to ensure the future of the SABC‚ and I will respect their decision‚ but it should not be made at the expense of the local music industry. And especially without proper consultation‚” Florence said.
She called on the board to meet with the local music industry and recording companies to discuss how they could remedy the situation at the SABC without destroying the industry.
“We lament that our artists are dying as paupers but we are quick to make decisions such as this without looking at all of the consequences. This cannot be a rash decision that is made without proper consultation‚” she added.
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In signalling the board’s intentions to reverse the quota‚ Mathatha labelled Hlaudi’s policy as a “bad decision“.
Florence defended the quota and said that reversing it would be “punishing local artists over a political issue“.
“We need to put politics aside and focus on the music. If this decision to reverse the quota is implemented‚ it will be a sad day for South African music and we cannot celebrate it. Musicians will be the real losers in this scenario. It will have a huge economic impact on their lives and we have to make sure that their future is not jeopardised by any rash decisions‚” she added.