Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Last TV news bulletins in other South African languages sign off for a final time on the SABC News channel after all news besides English are dumped.

"Goeienaand en welkom by hierdie laaste uitsending van die nuus in Afrikaans op die SAUK se 24-uur nuusdiens," said SABC News anchor Ivor Price at 19:30 on Tuesday 31 March.

("Good evening and welcome to this last broadcast of the news in Afrikaans on the SABC's 24-hour news service.)

At the end co-anchor Louise van Wingerden said: "Dit was dan die heel laaste Afrikaanse bulletin op die SAUK se 24-uur nuusdiens." ("This was then the very last Afrikaans bulletin on the SABC's 24-hour news service".)

"Baie dankie vir die saamkyk die laaste 21 maande en die nuus in Afrikaans was danksy u ondersteuning verreweg die gewildste 30 minute segment op hierdie kanaal," said Ivor Price

("Thank you for watching with us the last 21 months and the news in Afrikaans was, thanks to you, by far the most popular 30 minute segment on this channel.")

"And we also wish to thank our English speaking viewers for their wonderful support. The very successful format of this bulletin will be applied to the Afrikaans news on SABC2," said Louise van Wingerden.

The Xhosa news TV bulletin on the SABC News channel has also been cancelled.

The Sotho news TV bulletin on the SABC News channel has also been culled.

The Ndebele language news TV bulletin on the SABC News channel is also gone.

Scrapped are bulletins in Zulu, Afrikaans, Siswati, Tsonga, Xhosa, isiNdelebe, Sotho and Venda as part of SABC News's (DStv 404) shocking move to rid the news channel of all news bulletins in languages other than English.

The move to dump all TV news and TV news bulletins is South African's other official languages besides English includes SABC News doing away with its regular weekly half hour magazine shows like Health Talk, Film SA, Bophelong, Afroshowbiz News, Rights & Recourse, The Journal and Kaleidoscope.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago didn't respond to multiple media enquiries and calls made the past few weeks about the drastic change to the SABC News schedule and why the public broadcaster cancelled the news bulletins in all vernacular languages.

Scrapped are bulletins in Zulu, Afrikaans, Siswati, Tsonga, Xhosa, isiNdelebe, Sotho and Venda.

On its website and in marketing material the SABC says "a unique selling point is SABC News Channel's multilingual programming" and that SABC News is delivered "to audiences in all 11 South African official languages".

When the channel launched, the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said the SABC News channel will be an opportunity for the SABC to "enhance its public service mandate and extend its focus on provincial stories and the different official languages".

The SABC News channel launched in August 2013 which replaced the SABC's first struggling attempt at a 24-hour news channel, SABC News International. SABC News International was shut down after bleeding millions of rands after just three years at the end of March 2010.

SABC News, now running for a year and a half, is part of a controversial deal worth millions of rand Hlaudi Motsoeneng signed with MultiChoice's DStv platform.

It makes SABC News exclusively available to DStv only, keeping it off On Digital Media (ODM) and China's StarTimes Media SA's StarSat, as well as Sabido and Platco Digital's OpenView HD satellite TV platforms.

Earlier this month in an interview on SABC2, Hlaudi Motsoeneng called SABC News "a pilot project".

"The channel that is sitting on the MultiChoice bouquet, the news channel, it is a SABC channel. When we migrate to DTT, that channel will be migrated to our own platforms. It is an SABC channel. It is sitting there as a pilot project."