11/05/2017 10:55 SAST | Updated 11/05/2017 10:58 SAST

SABC Admits 90% Local Content Policy Was A Flop

The SABC has confessed that its flagship stations suffered huge losses because of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's policy.

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An SABC Satellite truck beaming back television signals from the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa, one of the host stadiums for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Sabc CEO James Aguma has told Parliament that the 90% local content policy has caused losses for the public broadcaster.

According to The Times, Aguma addressed Parliament's portfolio committee on communications on Wednesday and admitted that the policy, unilaterally implemented by former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, had caused the public broadcaster losses.

He said flagship radio stations Metro FM, 5FM, and Goodhope FM, as well as television channel SABC3, suffered a decline in audiences.

"The 90/10 local music quota... has an impact of R29-million on radio and R183-million on television," he reportedly told Parliament.

Meanwhile, the SABC wants to start charging people to watch its channels on their cellphones or computers.

The Times reported that Aguma told the portfolio committee this on Wednesday.

He reportedly said the broadcasting act should be amended to extend the list of devices that should be licensed.

William Bird of Media Monitoring Africa told The Times:

"I'm not sure it is the best idea at this time. They should look at tightening their licence collection system. They should be looking at alternative funding mechanisms."

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told Parliament on Wednesday that the public broadcaster would make a loss of R509-million at the end of the fourth financial quarter, ending on March 31.

Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Phumzile van Damme called for action against the previous communications minister, Faith Muthambi.