Hlaudi on end of Days
The afternoons of many housewives and domestic workers will no longer be the same now that the SABC has canned their beloved soapie, Days of Our Lives.
The move was made to accommodate SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision to increase local content on the broadcaster’s commercial TV station, SABC3, to 80%.
To support this revised policy, the SABC has allocated a budget of R600 million to fund new local content from writers and producers in the current financial year.
The latest SABC schedule reads: “At the end of July, we bid farewell to the families of Salem as Days of Our Lives comes to an end. Afternoon Express will be broadcast in this time slot.”
Motsoeneng was unmoved by viewers’ disappointment, telling City Press this week that he liked it when people were “not happy” because that put the “content providers under more pressure to pull up their socks and produce great local content for the viewers”.
“We need to get rid of international content to accommodate local talent,” he said.
He argued that international shows were not necessarily doing well on SABC channels and the broadcaster had to get rid of them to accommodate local content.
“When we are talking about local content, people think of English. We also need to encourage audiences to think of content in our indigenous languages,” said Motsoeneng.
“It is important to show that we are proud of our indigenous languages ... I have made a decision and I believe it is a right decision – no more turning back. Our mandate is to make sure that people are empowered.”
Motsoeneng said people often forgot that when he started at the SABC, he was a “young man in Standard 9” (now Grade 11), and an aspiring actor – “although not a professional [actor]” – who also wrote scripts.
He said he had used his experience as a freelancer to improve the relationship between the SABC and freelancers because he understood their difficulties.
“I am not just the face, but a leader. I make decisions. This is in my blood,” he said.
For the past few months, the SABC consistently maintained that it was busy implementing plans to identify new talent. But, as things stand, viewers continue to see the same familiar faces on the public broadcaster.
Motsoeneng insisted changes were afoot and that, in the next few months, audiences “are going to see new faces on their TV screens and are going to witness miracles”.
AXED Viewers will have to bid farewell to their favourite characters, such as Bo and Hope, on SABC3’s Days of Our Lives