SABC interim board to meet 'soon' as group fights to 'save Lotus FM'

As a group of concerned activists have called for a meeting to discuss local quotas on Lotus FM‚ a member of the broadcaster’s interim board has told TshisaLIVE that the board plans to meet in the next few days to discuss the SABC’s financial and operational future.

The broadcaster’s 90% local music quota has again come under scrutiny after financial results revealed that the SABC had experienced a large loss in revenue‚ with the quota believed to be a massive part of the lack of revenue.

Interim board member Krish Naidoo told TshisaLIVE that he was concerned about the situation at the broadcaster and confirmed that the board would meet in the next few days to discuss a number of issues‚ including the quota.

“It is a matter of serious concern but we have not yet met. We will have a meeting at the end of this week or the start of next (week) to discuss a number of issues. I am personally concerned about the quota and its effects and will raise the issue if necessary‚” he said.

According to BusinessLIVE‚ a group of Indian religious and cultural leaders have requested a meeting with the board and the new communications minister‚ under the banner of Save Lotus FM. The group will urge them to exempt Lotus FM from the quota in a bid to save the station.

The Broadcast Research Council (BRC)’s Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) figures showed that station’s listenership dropped by 100‚000 from 390‚000 to 290‚000 in the first five months following the implementation of the quota.

“We are worried about the station’s state of affairs and we cannot fold our arms and do nothing. We will be writing to the interim board to seek an urgent meeting to sort out the problems at the station. If we fail with the interim board‚ we will escalate this matter and seek an audience with the new minister of communications‚” the group’s chairman and president of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha‚ Ashwin Trikamjee‚ told the publication.

Krish said that he was aware of the group’s concerns and their intention to meet with the board but said that they had not yet received a request to meet.

“Perhaps it is still being sent to us but once the request has been received we will decide on it as a board‚” he added.

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