The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to investigate the SABC after it was reported that SABC 2 was dropping the Afrikaans news in favour of the World Cup.
There appear to be conflicting messages coming out of the SABC.
"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 airs," said DA shadow minister of communications, Gavin Davis, in a statement on Thursday.
Davis said the dumping of these programs is in contravention with the SABC's Charter, its editorial policies and its Code of Practice.
"These documents state that the SABC must treat all official languages equitably and commit the SABC to furthering the rights of all South Africans to receive and impart information," he added.
In a statement on Bizcommunity on Friday, SABC Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago) denied claims made on TV with Thinus and channel24 that the SABC would be moving its Afrikaans programming to SABC 3 "in order to further marginalise the Afrikaans language".
Kganyago alleged that "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."
Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the public broadcaster's stance on Afrikaans programming.
On Wednesday, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the Afrikaans news was not dropped. He said the programme's time slot was reshuffled to accommodate the World Cup and it would be returned to its usual time slot by the end of the week.
But according to Channel24, SABC2's acting programme manager, Jacqui Hlongwane, said the Afrikaans news will be moved to SABC3 permanently and there will no longer be an Afrikaans drama slot.
"We've been serving two markets now - the Sesotho audience as well as the Afrikaans audience - and it's really been quite a struggle to try and serve both those important audiences," said Hlongwane. "In one channel that kind of positioning has become unsustainable".
"In terms of our family proposition, we want content that speaks to South African families. So language should not be what defines us".
Hlongwane said SABC2 will still have all languages including Afrikaans but Afrikaans dramas will move to SABC3.
"We will still have all the languages on our channel, including Afrikaans but we do feel that it's about family viewing, that it's about family values and all the good things that we need to build this country," said Hlongwane.
"At 18:30 on SABC2 we have 7de Laan. That stays on the channel from Monday to Friday. And then after that where we had the Afrikaans news we will start introducing things like family game shows and reality and factual content".
Source: AFP, via I-Net Bridge
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