SABC acting unconstitutionally in its scaling down of Afrikaans

Dr Pieter Groenewald

The moving of the Afrikaans television news in the evening from TV2 to TV3 on the SABC channels is a breach of certain undertakings about Afrikaans that the top management of the SABC had given. It confirms the gradual trampling of Afrikaans and disregards constitutional guarantees about language in South Africa by the corporation, Dr. Pieter Mulder, FF Plus leader and spokesperson on Communication says.

“If a language chart of South Africa is considered and it is compared to the coverage area of TV3, it is clear how the new move will deny Afrikaans speakers in the whole of the Northern Cape, the Eastern Free State, the Eastern Cape and large areas of the Western Cape the opportunity to watch Afrikaans news as well as other actuality programs such as 50/50 and Focus in Afrikaans. It is a serious question as to why these viewers still have to pay their costly TV-licenses while they do not receive any services in Afrikaans, Dr. Mulder asked.

“Of all the state institutions the SABC should, as a public broadcaster, in particular be the one that respects the official languages and should see to it that the constitutional principles with regards to Afrikaans and other languages are implemented and promoted.

“The FF Plus views the decision with regards to Afrikaans as illegal as the Afrikaans community did not have any say in an administrative decision which largely harms them.

“The FF Plus will be writing a letter to the minister and the SABC to reverse this decision immediately. It will also be taken to the portfolio committee on communications to be discussed and to receive answers from the SABC management. If the decision is not corrected further steps will be considered on the basis of the legality of the SABC’s actions,” Dr. Mulder said.


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