South African Musicians Welcome the SABC’s 90% Local Music Decision

By Staff Writer    15-May-2016 16:41 UTC+02:00 9
South African Rapper AKA thinks that the prioritisation of local music on the SABC's radio stations will boost album sales. Image: Youtube.

South African Rapper AKA thinks that the prioritisation of local music on the SABC’s radio stations is a victory for the local music industry and will boost album sales. Image: Youtube.

Earlier this week the SABC announced that as of the 12th of May, its radio stations, which command millions of listeners, will play 90% local music. “Following extensive and successful engagements with some music representatives, the broadcaster has taken the decision to implement 90% of local music across the 18 radio stations as from 12 May 2016,” the SABC said in a media statement. According to the statement, this decision is part of the broadcaster’s bid to ensure that local content that reflects the diversity of South African culture is prioritised.

The SABC’s move has been welcomed as good news by local artists, who believe that it will promote their music, which has often been overshadowed by that of popular international artists. Shortly after the SABC’s announcement, AKA posted a number of tweets expressing his excitement. He also thanked the ANC and veteran jazz artist Don Laka, who was instrumental in pushing for the prioritisation of South African music on the SABC’s radio stations. “THIS IS THE GREATEST VICTORY IN THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSIC INDUSTRY,” AKA tweeted. “THANK YOU DON LAKA. THANK YOU ANC!!!!!!! FREEDOM AT LAST. WE WILL FINALLY BE ABLE TO SELL ONE MILLION RECORDS IN OUR OWN COUNTRY,” he added.

Arthur Mafokate, the ‘King of Kwaito’, tweeted, “Well done SABC! Well done SA government! Thanks for listening to the people! 90% local music!”

Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula tweeted, “Breaking News : SABC to play 90% local music starting frm tmro in 18 radio stations…. Best news ever…”

Earlier this year Don Laka accused the SABC of destroying the South African music industry and taking money out of the country’s economy by playing more international music than local.

While many people praised the SABC for its move, some think that 90% of local music is too much. However, the SABC’s decision is not final. Over the next three months they will be interacting with listeners and various stakeholders to evaluate their satisfaction with the new local music quota. If it has a negative impact on listenership, revenue, etc, it might be adjusted down to give more room to international music.


  1. Lunga says:

    They will run out of good music. We don’t want to hear the same songs over and over again. Radio should be about entertainment, not the promotion of local music. 60% local and 40% international was ok.

  2. Sane says:

    This won’t work. There are shows like the Romantic repertoire which were made famous by international music. On those shows we want to continue hearing the likes of Luther Vandross, Kenny Lattimore, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, etc. 90% international, 10% local, until there is enough good RNB music from SA.

  3. tyrique says:

    Oooooh that’s wrong turn… SABC don’t know the get 1 million listeners from.. Answer is becoz of lnternational music…. South African music it’s not strong yet to be listened as 90%

  4. Simphiwe says:

    Umuntu usezothi ekwi-mood yokulalela o-Luther – endless love afice kudlala o-Thandiswa bethi yindaba kabani mangilahlumlenze

  5. Alison says:

    This is a radiculous decision that pushed me to listen to Jacarandafm, no more listening to SABC radio station until they come to their sense. local is no good enough at all Hip-hop, RnB, Pop etc.

  6. Zama Mhlongo says:

    Its very hard to listen to Metro fm since the 90% local music quota,I don’t think this will last.local music has not fully reached the international standard.Sabc will loose listeners to independent radio stations like East Coast Radio.

  7. lungelo ldz khuzo says:

    This is Hard we are there so our time is over on East cost Radio

  8. Sharon says:

    It is very sad indeed. Iused to love Radio 2000 i guess i will be switching back to East Coast.

  9. Ari says:

    Im really enjoying all kinds of music from 947 its 100% better than all 18 combined sabc radio stations, i cant complain at all coz i can listen to my favourite international artists, by the way i used to love metrofm but after 90% annouñcement i never imagined myself going back to metro again until its go back to where it used to be.

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