SABC3 Goes 80% Local In July

The SABC's chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng is on a mission to shake the tree and he is not turning back. In his latest announcement on Tuesday, Hlaudi "local Is Lekker" Motsoeneng, reaffirmed the promise that the 90% local content quota announced for radio will now be extended to the SABC's TV channels.

To kick off this promotion of local content drive, the SABC will start with an 80% local content makeover for SABC3 from 1 July.

Given that local shows, even with their high profile celebrity and brand recognition, such as Top Billing and Afternoon Express, do not fair well against their American counterparts on the channel, this will be a very interesting change to see. 

For the record; American soaps The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of Our Lives are at the to of the list of the most watched shows on SABC3. 

SABC3 is the public broadcaster’s commercial television station and it has traditionally targeted an English-speaking community.

“If you look at our platform, SABC1 and 2 is more local content,” Motsoeneng said. 

“I said on television, SABC3 it will be 80 per cent local content. On other channels you have 90 per cent,” he added.

I will admit; I am cautiously excited about this announcement. It is always a good thing when we push local content because it means more people are being given a chance to work and showcase their talent.

My caution is motivated by the fact that I was very excited about Tongue in Cheek being on SABC3 and the show was a complete let down. I championed for it on social media and hoped it would get better in time but it never did.

I am all for local content. Hell, I benefit from these moves as a creative practitioner in this country. However, I do not subscribe to the notion that we should just support mediocrity simply because it's local. 

My loyalty is rooted in honesty and the freedom to know that expecting the best from my people means they get to grow and put their best foot forward all the time. 

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