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SABC wants less Afrikaans in 7de Laan

2014-08-25 08:58

Johannesburg – According to an article by the Sunday newspaper, Rapport, the popular Afrikaans soapie, 7de Laan, will soon be less Afrikaans.

"Rapport has learned that the SABC expects the Afrikaans dialogue to be cut from 90% to 80%. English and other indigenous languages will now be increased to 20%," the newspaper reported.

Eyebrows were also raised about the fact that black actors had to speak Afrikaans on the popular soap. During negotiations with the SABC to renew the soap for a new season some individuals felt it was unfair and "unnatural" to expect black actors to learn Afrikaans dialogue.

Danie Odendaal, 7de Laan producer, told Huisgenoot that the SABC appointed a new director to assist with the latest season of the show and to ensure that the soap reflects the current South African demographic.

According to Odendaal the SABC felt that the soap could better represent the South African market if it had more brown and black representatives in the creative team. The new team members had not been appointed yet.

Kaizer Kganyago, spokesperson for the SABC, declined to comment on the internal negotiations.

He did however add that the 7de Laan audience is 39% brown, 30% white and 29% black. According to him 7de Laan was never a "white soapie".

The soapie announced the news that they were back in production for the new season with a message on their Facebook page; "Hi everyone - we are back at the studios and working on Series 16. And we were delighted to be greeted by the stunning Salamina Mosese (Nthabiseng) on no less than two magazine covers: Kuier and Wedding Guide. We do have gorgeous girls, don't you agree?"

Channel24 in June broke the news that the SABC would be moving the primetime Afrikaans news bulletin as well as most of its other Afrikaans shows from SABC2 to SABC3.

The move was part of a broader language shift of Afrikaans away from SABC2.

SABC3 has the smallest terrestrial broadcasting signal footprint of the SABC's three terrestrial TV channels.

Since SABC3 cannot be received by as many South African viewers as SABC2 and SABC1 – especially in the vast areas further away from big metropolitan areas and cities – it means that less potential viewers would be able to tune in for the daily Afrikaans news bulletin, Fokus, 50/50 or Swartwater simply because they don't get the signal.

The SABC has also been engulfed in more soapie controversy after it fired 16 actors from the Generations cast after they went on strike.

The move is completely unprecedented in the 38 year history of South African television.

The highly lucrative show is the biggest money earner for the public broadcaster, making even the smallest tampering with Generations – let alone firing of the cast – a dicey and risky move. It could impact negatively on the show's popularity and viewership figures.

It's not clear how the SABC plans to handle the exit of major actors from the popular soap.

- Rapport, Channel24

Read more on:    sabc  |  generations  |  soapies  |  tv  |  celebrities  |  7de laan
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