'We demand that the SABC play our music or...'

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Vusi Leeuw has clammed the SABC.
Vusi Leeuw has clammed the SABC.

THE South African Music Industry Council (SAMIC) has threatened to withhold music of all genres from Ukhozi FM.

The council made the threats after a meeting with umbhaqanga artists, who have long complained they were not getting airplay on the station.

Council president Vusi Leeuw said: “We know that umbhaqanga artists and fans have been fighting for equal airplay for years but the SABC is refusing to listen.”

“This matter was brought up at a provincial level but the SABC didn’t listen. It was escalated to the national office but the SABC is still not listening.

“We have decided to intervene and fight for our artists. We’ve assessed their complaint and we feel it’s valid.” Leeuw said the council had a meeting with SABC management recently but 20 days had gone by with no feedback.

“We feel undermined and left with no choice but to mute Ukhozi FM. If they continue to ignore us, we will turn Ukhozi FM into a talk station. We will make sure that no music is played until our demands are met.An injury to one is an injury to all.

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We are not begging them to play umbhaqanga but we are demanding that they do the right thing. We see this as an oppression of indigenous music and we will not allow it,” he said.

Umbhaqanga artist Sipho Phoswa said: “We wrote letters to the SABC, phoned them and had meetings but they’re refusing to listen to us. . We demand our slot back

Umbhaqanga music used to be played by Sigiya Ngengoma for half an hour on Saturdays. We also want umbhaqanga to be played on all shows like other genres.”

SABC spokeswoman Gugu Ntuli confirmed the meeting took place and the council’s concerns were taken note of but said she could not discuss the contents of the meeting.

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