SABC not 'marginalising' Afrikaans

2014-06-26 15:10

Johannesburg - The SABC on Thursday denied claims it is preparing to "dump" almost all its Afrikaans language shows on SABC2 and move the language's programming to SABC3.

This comes after TV critic Thinus Ferreira reported on Channel24 on Thursday that Afrikaans programmes would be moved to SABC3 - a channel with a much smaller footprint.

According to Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesperson, 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.

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

"The Xitsonga, SiSwati, IsiNdebele, and Venda news have also been moved from SABC2.We strongly believe that all South Africans are equally important,” Kganyago said.

Kganyago added that 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. One of our flagship programmes, Generations, has been moved to SABC2 from SABC1," Kganyago said.

He was puzzled as to why programming was an issue only when the Afrikaans shows were affected.

Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said he had asked that the chairman of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) investigate the dropping of TV news bulletins during the World Cup.

He said the Tsonga/Venda, Siswati/Ndebele, and Afrikaans news bulletins were reportedly bumped off the SABC this week to make way for the double-header group games being played at the time the news usually aired.

"The dumping of these news bulletins would appear to be in contravention of the SABC’s charter, its editorial policies, and its code of practice.

"The South African public has a right to stay informed about current affairs, in the official language of their choosing. The World Cup should not be allowed to deprive people of that right," Davis said.

- Sapa
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