SABC to launch new channels

A picture taken on October 20, 2010 shows the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) headquarters in Johannesburg. South Africa's crisis-hit public broadcaster posted a modest profit in the first six months of the 2010 financial year after a financial meltdown forced a government bail-out last year. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

JOHANNESBURG – The SABC on Saturday announced the establishment of new “language-based” television channels, and that it will no longer advertise job vacancies and tenders in the “print or other media platforms” nor use the services of external marketing agencies.

“As (the) SABC accelerates its digital migration, the organisation has decided to create television channels that will strictly cover a cluster of language groups to ensure that the SABC audiences are better served in the language of their choice,” the state broadcaster said in a statement.

“The SABC has decided to make several language-based television channels available to the public. These channels will serve the millions of SABC’s audiences in the language of their choice,” COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng said in the statement.

“At this stage the envisaged channels will be grouped according to specific language compatibility, for example, Sesotho, Setswana, and Sepedi will be grouped as the Sotho channel; isiZulu, isiXhosa, siSwati, and isiNdebele will form another channel to be called Nguni channel for the Nguni-speaking viewership.

“The third channel will cater for xiTsonga and tshiVenda while the fourth channel will cater for all Afrikaans-speaking viewers inclusive of the Khoisan community among others. The new channels will be the melting pots of culture and traditions of all those languages,” he said.

In the meantime, the SABC’s current television channels would increase their local content offering.

Most of the new content would focus on neglected languages such as xiTsonga, tshiVenda, and Afrikaans.

It would also pay more attention to jazz and reggae music.

SABC news bulletins would have a segment dedicated to news from the provinces.

This would be done to focus on news from all provinces and to “cover South Africa comprehensively as per the SABC’s public service mandate”.

“The SABC has also decided that it will advertise its employment vacancies and tender advertisements on the SABC’s television, radio, and digital platforms only. This decision will be implemented with immediate effect, henceforth, the public broadcaster will no longer place advertisements in any print and other media platforms.

“The SABC also decided that the services of external marketing agencies will no longer be utilised as the corporation has sufficient internal creative capacity to deliver on any related marketing campaigns,” Motsoeneng said.

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