Hlaudi on end of Days

CityPress - - News - NTOMBI­ZODWA MAKHOBA ntombi­zodwa@city­press.co.za

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

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