SABC: We’re not dumping Afrikaans shows

2014-06-26 15:16

The SABC has denied claims it is preparing to “dump” almost all its Afrikaans language shows on SABC2 and move the language’s programming to SABC3.

This was after a blog titled TV with Thinus, written by Thinus Ferreira, was published today claiming that Afrikaans was getting marginalised as a language on the SABC’s TV stations.

“The Cape Town-based self-proclaimed TV critic Mr Thinus Ferreira’s article is questionable and is perceived by the SABC as a move to cause confusion and to some extent instigate racial and linguistic divisions,” spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said today.

He said the broadcaster had not marginalised any language and would not do so in future. The SABC prescribed to the Broadcasting Act to ensure all languages were treated equally.

In the article, Ferreira states that the decision to drop the shows was due to a TV programming language battle that had “become unsustainable” for SABC2.

He said the broadcaster would permanently move its only daily Afrikaans TV news bulletin from SABC2 to SABC3 once the World Cup coverage was concluded.

“It will also be the first time in 38 years that there won’t be any Afrikaans TV drama on SABC2 [the former TV1] since television began in South Africa in 1976,” the article read.

Kganyago said the broadcaster had revealed on May 29 how programming would be affected due to the World Cup.

“The Xitsonga, SiSwati, IsiNdebele, and Venda news have also been moved from SABC2, and there is no mention of this in Ferreira’s article.

“We strongly believe that all South Africans are equally important, and therefore Mr Ferreira’s statement saying the 7pm news became a ‘hurdle’ for SABC2 is inappropriate and uncalled for.”

Kganyago said two of the SABC’s most watched shows, Leihlo la Sechaba and Generations, had also been moved due to the soccer tournament.

“This week, the most watched current affairs programme on SABC2, Leihlo la Sechaba, will not be playing and it is rather disturbing that Mr Ferreira singles out only the Afrikaans programmes.

“One of our flagship programmes, Generations, has been moved to SABC2 from SABC1. If Ferreira’s argument was anything to go, by we would have seen and recorded millions of complaints from Generations viewership,” Kganyago said.

He said he was puzzled why programming was an issue only when the Afrikaans shows were affected.

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