SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng announced during a live broadcast on Saturday morning that the cash-strapped SABC will give 180 local musicians R50 000 each as a “token of appreciation” from the public broadcaster.
That works out to a whopping R9m in total that will be awarded to local music icons as a gift from the broadcaster.
The news was received with celebrations and cheers during the Morning Live broadcast that took place at the SABC’s Auckland Park offices in Johannesburg.
According to Hlaudi it is important to him and the SABC to support local musos so they are able to return to the recording studios to make music again. He also warned the crowd not to pay any attention to negative media reports surrounding this decision.
He added: "Financially, the SABC is sustainable. We are going forward. We are going to pay our artists and other people doing business with the SABC."
Hlaudi also said: "What is important in life is my conscious [sic]. My conscious is telling me even if I can stay alone, but I will stand for what I believe alone, even if South Africa can change. That is what I am going to do."
James Aguma, the SABC’s acting CEO added that "to do good you don’t need to ask anybody for permission. This money is just a token to the legends who have contributed to the music industry."
"Jesus was born, he came to Egypt. Moses was from Egypt. So Africans shouldn’t be afraid of being Africans. So we are going to push the African agenda whatever the detractors say," said Aguma.
But wait. There’s more.
Besides the R9m cash gift, Hlaudi also announced that the SABC will start a music TV channel and will also do a programme about poems to showcase the work of poets.
"We as SABC, we are going to have a dedicated channel, a TV channel, for musicians," Hlaudi said.
He also promised a programme to showcase poems on the SABC. "We as SABC, we will make sure that there is a programme that deals with poems, and the books."
The loss-making SABC that recorded a financial loss of R395m last year will announce its latest financial report next month in parliament.