World-renowned musician Ray Phiri says the time is now for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to best implement the failed 90 percent local music quota introduced by Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Phiri told HuffPost SA this week that the policy was flawed from the beginning.
"It is a good model, but it was flawed. We did not give it enough time to consult how best it could have been introduced and implemented," he said.
The 70-year-old legendary musician said for local content to do well, investments should be made towards development.
"You have to invest in that local content. While on the drawing board, the SABC should come up with ways to raise money to for the development of the content they want to serve to the public. Otherwise you keep hearing the same thing," said Phiri.
He said if the public broadcaster is serious about broadcasting and developing local music, more needs to be done including providing the space for artists to perform their music.
"For example, in a nation of more than 50 million people, we don't even have 50 decent theatres or halls for people to go and enjoy music. Where do you go as a South African when you want to watch a live band play? Also, where do you take your visitors from overseas to watch a South African band play indigenous music? We need to be serious about the basic before we implement quotas that are not well researched," Phiri told the HuffPost SA.
He asked,:"How do we talk local content when the environment is not conducive for the development of artists to be the best they can be".
Phiri said musicians in the apartheid era succeeded because of two things: "We had a recording industry and a music industry which operated parallel to each other. After recording an album, we would go on tour, performing for people so that they could go to the stores and buy the music we have recorded. It was a two-way street".
Phiri told HuffPost SA that the argument of whether or not local content is quality is a non-issue.
"What is quality? Quality is subjective. I say let's invest in the development of our content and artists, then we wont even need to implement a quota because our own people will want to consume more of our work," said Phiri.
During his interview with HuffPost SA, Phiri also shared his thoughts on the country's economic state.
"Radical economic transformation should have happened during the first convention of South Africa, which is The Convention for a Democratic South Africa. Yes, we had RDP houses, but the healing for the soul and socio-economic issues were never discussed," he said.
Phiri said: "As far as junk status is concerned, international 'investors' and the so-called outside markets are in the business of capitalism. They know that if they keep us dependent on them for certain things, they can control us. Being in junk status means we have to think twice before spending the little we have. It also means the quality of life suffers, it is not the right place to be as a country, but we can only hope for the best".
Asked who should be the next president of the country, Phiri said it should not matter who the person taking office is.
"As long as it is someone who has the best interest of the country at heart and knows how to lead," he told the HuffPost SA.