The South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Saturday 30 July paid tribute to 180 local musicians by allocating them R50 000 each as a way of supporting their music.
The announcement was made by the state broadcaster's controversial boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng during a Morning Live broadcast at SABC’s Auckland Park offices in Johannesburg.
In total, the public broadcaster will spend R9m towards 'supporting' local musicians so that they are able to record music.
Motsoeneng encouraged people who were present to ignore any negative media reports bent on discouraging this decision. According to local news site Channel 24, Hlaudi said: "Financially, the SABC is sustainable. We are going forward. We are going to pay our artists and other people doing business with the SABC."
In May this year, SABC announced that it will play 90% local music across its 18 radio stations to ensure that local content reflecting the diversity of South African cultures is prioritised.
Apart from paying tribute to local musicians Motsoeneng also announced that the public broadcaster will establish a music TV channel that will also feature a slot about poems. "We as SABC, we are going to have a dedicated channel, a TV channel, for musicians," he said, adding: "We as SABC, we will make sure that there is a programme that deals with poems, and the books."