Hlaudi Motsoeneng

SABC makes big changes, fires Hlaudi Motsoeneng and confirms need for bailout from Treasury

Protest coverage and the 90% local rule, it’s all changing.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng

The SABC held a press conference on Monday afternoon, SABC Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama addressed the media and provided an update on all things Hlaudi and the quest to become profitable again.

After an internal investigation, former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneneg has been found guilty of bringing the SABC into disrepute and causing irreparable damage to the broadcaster, as a result of the finding, he has now been fired by the acting SABC board.

“We engaged an independent chair to chair that disciplinary process on our behalf. The chairperson has recommended that Mr. Motsoeneng be dismissed and the SABC interim board has accepted those recommendations and we have communicated with Mr. Motsoeneng with regards to his dismissal from the SABC.”

Kweyama also confirmed that Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo is in talks with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in order to discuss a bailout that the SABC interim board has requested. That bailout is believed to be around the R1 billion mark.

The SABC has also rescinded two of Motsoeneng’s most criticised policies. Kweyama says that journalists are once again able to cover whatever protests they see fit, the visuals from such protests will also be broadcast even if they are violent.

The 90% local content policy implemented by Motsoeneng has been disastrous for the broadcaster. Radio stations across the country have been losing millions in advertising revenue as brands pulled out after listener numbers dwindled. Kweyama says that the SABC is firmly pro local transformation but called the 90% rule “drastic”.

Radio and TV stations will now be able to choose how much content to play in order to be profitable, as long as they adhere to ICASA local content guidelines. This means that you will be hearing a lot more popular international songs on stations like 5FM.

Kweyama also confirmed that even though the SABC is in dire straits financially, it has been paying staff salaries and has agreed on a payment plan with content producers.

The SABC is currently preparing to interview candidates to fill senior and board positions permanently. If the SABC gets this bailout, let’s hope it has the right people to manage it.