The beginning of April marks the new radio year for most radio stations and is the first week that Motsweding FM’s line-up will not feature some of its most popular radio veterans.
This include the likes of Goitsemodimo “GMS” Seleka, Essence Moumakwe and Oshebeng Alpheus Koonyaditswe.
Political Analysis South Africa (PASA) has seen the press release consisting of the new Motsweding FM line-up on Friday, 29 March 2019. The line-up changes take place annually in many radio stations around this time of the year, marking the new radio year.Radio stations introduce new presenters and renew some contracts, as is the case with Mokopi Molebatsi.
The Motsweding FM line-up was introduced a day after a mass action led by the Oupa Matla Foundation, who had warned the station to extend the contracts of the freelancers, especially of the popular radio veterans such as Goitsemodimo Seleka and Alpheus Koonyaditswe, who have been with the station for more than twenty-five years.
PASA has spoken to presenters who have been excluded in the new line-up. They have confirmed that their contracts have not been renewed, which means that they will no longer be on the radio station. There are two sports presenters, one of whom being Koonyaditswe, who are said to have signed contracts with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Sports and not with Motsweding FM like others.
PASA has also seen an email from Leuba Ramakgolo from the SABC head office, directing that all the PBS Radio Sports Independent Contractors be given a one-month contract with current conditions. They will be working with Aubrey Motloung from the Auckland Park head office.
The Oupa Matla Foundation organised a protest outside the SABC regional offices in Mafikeng on Thursday, 28 March 2019, where they submitted a memorandum to a regional manager, which has not been responded to. The foundation will be writing to parliament to ask for intervention, as they are worried about language preservation.
The Oupa Matla Foundation national spokesperson, Mmakhuduga Mosenogi, says that Motsweding FM used to have about four million listeners before the arrival of the current station manager, Katlego Mokhele. They are accusing the manager of recruiting television stars such as Rapulana Seiphemelo, Refiloe Modiselle and Tumi Morake. Some of the presenters were accused of not being fluent in the station’s language of broadcasting, Setswana.
“The station has drastically dropped its listenership to less than one million under the current management, we know that the revenues have increasing but that is not the mandate of the public broadcaster. We believe that Motsweding FM exists because of conservation of our language and our culture,” said Mosenogi