Treatment of Afrikaans on TV raises question about paying of TV licenses again

2014-07-16
Dr Pieter Mulder

“It is a serious question as to why Afrikaans TV viewers who can no longer see the Afrikaans evening news on television, still have to pay expensive TV licenses,” Dr. Pieter Mulder, FF Plus leader asked the minister of Communications in Parliament. Dr. Mulder was participating in the Communications budget debate.

The moving of the Afrikaans television evening news and Afrikaans actuality programs such as Focus of TV2 to TV3 is short-sighted, is contemptuous of Afrikaans and does not make sense from a financial point of view, according to Dr. Mulder.

“If one looks at a language map of South Africa and it is compared with TV3’s footprint it is clear how the move will be denying Afrikaans speakers in nearly the whole of the Northern Cape, the Eastern Free State, the Eastern Cape and large areas of the Western Cape from viewing the Afrikaans news as well as actuality programs such as 50/50 and Focus in Afrikaans.

“Of all state institutions, the SABC should as public broadcaster be the one institution that should respect all the official languages and should see to it that the constitutional principles pertaining to Afrikaans and other languages are promoted and implemented.

The soap opera, ‘Sewende Laan’ remains on TV2 but the Afrikaans news is moved. The SABC is struggling to balance its finances but takes such a decision with which the popular Afrikaans advertisement slot in prime time is divided into two. It will definitely have an influence on the number of viewers during prime time and the SABC will lose its advertisement income.

“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 for discussion and for answers from the SABC management. If this does not bring results, further steps will be considered based on the legality of the SABC’s actions,” Dr. Mulder said.

 

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