Many South Africans have taken to social media to celebrate the announcement that the national broadcaster will play 90% of local music, saying it will help to showcase the country’s musical diversity.
SABC, which has about 30 million daily listeners to its radio stations, says the decision comes after extensive consultations with those involved in the country’s music industry.
Stations here have been criticised in the past for playing mostly Western music and not supporting local artists.
Although the SABC’s decision is for a three-month trial period – after which it will decide whether to make it permanent, depending on what listeners say – industry insiders are hoping that it will help boost the profiles of local artists.
South African musicians often perform with musicians from other parts of the continent, so this will be a chance for those collaborations to be heard at home.
The new playlists will include music in a number of the country’s 11 official languages and various genres.
It’s great news for local artists, who stand to profit from a boost in sales of their music.
And for many listeners too, the decision seems to have struck the right note.