The SABC denied that its Mahikeng offices were closing, saying it noted with concern a statement from the ANC caucus saying the offices would move to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Picture: ANA/Molaole Montsho

Rustenburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) denied on Wednesday that its Mahikeng, North West, offices were closing, saying it noted with concern a statement from the ANC caucus in the provincial legislature saying the offices would move to Johannesburg and Pretoria.

"There is no truth to this statement. However, the SABC can confirm that it is standard practice with some of its radio stations to broadcast some programmes from Johannesburg," SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu said.

"In the instance of Motsweding FM, some programmes are broadcast from Pretoria, Auckland Park and Kimberly in the Northern Cape province, as the station has a national footprint and some of its on-air personalities reside in those areas.

"In addition, the production of the majority of the programmes on Motsweding FM and administration of the station is done in Mahikeng. Motsweding FM has adopted a strategy which seeks to grow its listenership in the Gauteng, Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo provinces," Mthembu said.

The ANC caucus said it has noted with shock and disappointment news that SABC radio station Motsweding FM would relocated to Auckland in Johannesburg, and that Hatfield studios in Pretoria has taken some of Mahikeng studio activities. 

"This planned relocation of regional offices in Mahikeng is quite disturbing as this will result in a job bloodbath in Motsweding studios, consequently robbing locals of income and interaction with their home studios,"  said chief whip Raymond Elisha in a statement.

'Any retrenchments at this juncture will not only add to the growing reserve army of the unemployed but will furthermore plunge a significant section of our people further into untold hardship and misery."

The statement followed a protest march by a group of concerned listeners last week calling for the dismissal of station manager Katlego Mokhele.

This was after the station did not renew the contract of several presenters. Listeners wanted the presenters back on-air and accused the station of slowly killing the Setswana language. 

African News Agency (ANA)