SABC scraps Afrikaans for minority killer language

The SABC will do away with Afrikaans news bulletins on its 24 hour news channel on DStv.

Black indigenous South African language bulletins, including Zulu, Siswati, Tsonga, Xhosa, isiNdebele, Sotho and Venda will also be scrapped.

As from April 1, all bulletins will be done in English.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says the decision was informed by the fact that the channel has to compete with other international English language channels.

Kganyago maintains that the channel “lost viewers each time indigenous language news bulletins were aired”, but satellite competitors StarSat and OpenView HD don’t have any local news channels.

Some SABC TV news bulletins in other languages actually grab a larger slice of the audience than the flagship.

The news in isiZulu on SABC1 commands a staggering average of 3.6 million viewers, while the isiXhosa news, also on SABC1, pulls in 3.4 million people. The Afrikaans news has more than 1.5 million viewers.

The one-size-fits-all approach that South Africans are now stuck with, is really only for the benefit of the tiniest minority of English speakers, a clear indication of the killer language at work once more.

Meanwhile the wage bill of the SABC is set to soar by close to R100 million. The increase is a result of bigger board member fees, salaries and filled vacancies.

The increase comes in the wake of a strained economic climate, less advertising spending and a drop in viewers.