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Afrikaans news bulletins to return to SABC2 - AfriForum

Organisation says public broadcaster's reversal proof of the power of civil society

AfriForum welcomes return of Afrikaans news bulletin to SABC 2 as victory for viewers

The civil rights organisation, AfriForum, welcomed the announcement that Afrikaans news bulletins will return to SABC2, as a victory for viewers and Afrikaans.  In June this year the bulletins were moved to a later time slot on SABC3.  This decision of the SABC was met with a huge public outcry, as SABC3 has limited reception in especially the Free State, Eastern, Western and Northern Cape.  Large concentrations of Afrikaans-speaking viewers live in these areas and this step deprived a large percentage of the Afrikaans community from watching news in their mother language.

According to Alana Bailey, deputy CEO of AfriForum, the statement that the bulletins will return to SABC2 at 19:00 on 3 November 2014, is proof of the influence that civil society can exert to change decisions made to their detriment.  "When it became known that the news bulletins would move to SABC3, thousands of dissatisfied viewers signed AfriForum's petition against the SABC's decision.  AfriForum urgently requested the SABC to reconsider the decision and lodged a complaint against the decreasing offer of Afrikaans by the public broadcaster with the Pan South African Language Board."

Bailey expressed the hope that the SABC will also consider other ways in which its offer to Afrikaans viewers can be increased.  "Afrikaans is the third largest home language in South Africa and more than a third of the market is Afrikaans-speaking.  Both from a language rights, as well as a business point of view, it makes sense to promote Afrikaans on TV."

"AfriForum would like to thank all who supported its campaign against the rescheduling of Afrikaans programmes, and all organisations that opposed this ill-considered decision.  Each input contributed to the success which has been achieved."

Statement issued by Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, September 20 2014

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