In the lead story in tabloid Sunday World, well-known “disco king” Penny Penny, real name Eric Nkovani, accused SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng of being very selective when it comes to dishing out “90% local” patronage.
He accused Motsoeneng of snubbing a financial support initiative to benefit artists. He said that since he and Xitsonga musician Thomas Chauke were not invited to a breakfast, the COO was a “racist and a tribalist”.
Penny Penny reportedly stood as an ANC councillor candidate in Giyani, and speculated that Limpopo artists were being sidelined because of their Tsonga heritage. Allegedly, Motsoeneng did not believe Limpopo artists should be part of the 90% quota initiative, an SABC experiment that was meant to last for three months and launched in May/June.
He felt that not receiving an invite as a “legend” meant Motsoeneng was a tribalist. “We also need that money,” he told the paper. He said the cash would come in useful for him as he needed it to finish an album.
Reportedly, Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha was also concerned that Nkovani and other Limpopo artists were not given “the R50 000 by Hlaudi”.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the Limpopo “legends” were on their list but had not been invited because they had either not answered their phones or the SABC did not have their contact details.
He denied that anyone had been paid anything yet. The broadcaster was supposedly in talks with the SA Revenue Service to ensure that none of the recipients of the money would have to pay any tax.
Mathabatha told the tabloid he was concerned if no Limpopo artist had made the cut for the SABC.
The SABC is believed to be facing a huge financial shortfall and it was reported that it is seeking a R1.5 billion loan to continue operations.