TV News South Africa

SABC News to scrap bulletins in Afrikaans, vernacular languages?

NEWSWATCH: SABC News is reported to be doing away with bulletins in Afrikaans and other vernacular languages, reports Thinus Ferreira, in Channel24...
SABC News to scrap bulletins in Afrikaans, vernacular languages?

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  • Channel24: SABC News scraps Afrikaans news, other African languages... According to the Channel24 report, "SABC News (DStv 404) will dump the Afrikaans TV news bulletin as well as the additional TV news bulletins in other indigenous South African languages on the channel from 1 April.

    It's no April Fool's joke, with Ferreira going on to say: "The South African public broadcaster's 24-hour TV news channel is apparently also doing away from April with its regular weekly half-hour magazine shows like Health Talk, Film SA, Bophelong, Afroshowbiz News, Rights & Recourse, The Journal and Kaleidoscope, which are not to be found on the April schedule of SABC News."

    The report also claims that "SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago didn't respond to multiple media enquiries and calls Channel24 made since last week about the upcoming SABC News schedule changes and why the SABC is cutting news in all vernacular languages on the channel and getting rid of the other magazine programming."

    A check on the SABC website finds this... The opening preamble to the SABC's mandate, which reads as follows:

    "The SABC's mandate as a public broadcaster comes from the Charter, which defines its objectives.

    The Charter is laid down in chapter IV of the Broadcasting Act (as amended) and requires the SABC to encourage the development of South African expression by providing, in the official languages [our emphasis], a wide range of programming that:
    • Reflects South African attitudes, opinions, ideas, values and artistic creativity;
    • Displays South African talent in educational and entertaining programmes;
    • Offers a plurality of views and a variety of news, information and analysis from a South African point of view; and
    • Advances the national and public interest."

    Further on in the same document, this is stated:

    Among the core editorial values for the SABC are these:
    The SABC provides programmes for everyone, in all the official languages, and promotes universal access to its services.

    Many might ask how scrapping Afrikaans and vernacular news gels with the above.


    Meanwhile, Ronnie Lubisi has issued a statement on his removal from the SABC Board last week...

    "I am aware of the statement attributed to the Acting chairperson of the Board MO Maguvhe that was issued by the SABC on 26 March 2015. The statement alleged fraudulent conduct and non-disclosure of conflict of interest among some board members. The statement claims that after deliberations, the board resolved that I be removed as the non-executive Director with effect from 26 March 2015.

    My view is that the decision was illegally made in contravention of the Broadcasting Act 4 of 1999 and the Companies Act. As a result, I am seeking legal advice.

    I view the decision of the Board and such statements as unfortunate. I have been registered as an Auditor with the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants for the past 14 years. In all that time I have always conducted my business with absolute adherence to the professional and ethical requirements of my profession.

    I shall welcome an independent enquiry by a duly authorised body into my conduct as an SABC Board member. I commit to fully participate in such processes. I also fully reserve my legal rights."
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