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About the SABC > Frequently Asked Questions



The SABC Editorial Policies have been approved by the Board, following an extensive process of consultation and input from stakeholders and the public.

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Q: Why does the religious programme policy give special attention to African Religion?

A: Religious broadcasting should strive to be contextual and relevant, and to reflect our African reality. Towards further correction test of the neglect of African culture in the public media, special attention is given to African Religion and traditional cultures

Q: Why do we need these core editorial values?

A: The values, based on those articulated in the Constitution — including national development, unity, diversity, non-racialism, non-sexism, democracy and human dignity — represent those things that are commonly held by South Africans to be important.

Q: How is airtime for religious programming allocated?

A: In allocating air time to religious groups, the SABC is committed to the principle of fairness and applies this principle in determining the time allocated to each group. These allocations are made on a three-yearly basis, after consultation with the Religious Broadcasting Panel (RPB), taking the following into account: • Data on the percentage of the population in each religious group, as per the latest available census information. • The need for each of the major religions to enjoy meaningful and sufficient programming of a faith specific nature • The need for all the religions to be reflected in religious programmes • The need for sufficient programming of a multifaith nature • The need to redress past imbalances in religious broadcasting.

Q: Does the SABC’s educational programming policy commit to formal or informal education or both?

A: The SABC commits itself to providing innovative educational programmes of excellent quality across our radio and television services, aimed at meeting the diverse formal and informal learning needs of all our audiences, including children, youth and adults.

Q: What priority is given to education needs?

A: The SABC ensures that its educational programmes address imbalances in the historical provision of education, especially, but not exclusively, those based on race, gender and disability The SABC links its educational broadcasting to national priorities and needs, supporting the achievement of outcomes-based education, lifelong learning, and the association of educational and life experiences

Q: What are the six broad areas in which the SABC provides educational programmes across its services?

A: Arising from the Broadcasting Act, the SABC has identified the following educational programme areas: • Early Childhood Development • Children at Home • Formal Education • Youth Development • Adult and Human Resources Development • Public Education

Q: Who do I call if I have a query about the editorial policies?

A: Contact the Policy and Regulatory Affairs Division at 714-3728 or e-mail

Q: What are the three areas in which local content is prescribed by ICASA?

A: • Global local content quotas for each television channel. These stipulate that a percentage of the air time between 05:00 and 23:00 should be allocated to local content. The global quotas distinguish between public and commercial television • Genre quotas. These stipulate that if a television channel carries a certain genre of programming (such as drama), a percentage of that type of programming is to be allocated to local content. The genres are defined in the ICASA regulations3 and span the following six areas: drama, informal knowledge building, children’s, education, documentary and current affairs. In each case a minimum percentage is prescribed These quotas also distinguish between public and commercial television • Independent production quotas. Here the stipulation is that a percentage of the total amount of local content aired must be allocated to independent television productions. These quotas make no distinction between public and commercial services. All the quotas are set out in regulations which may be reviewed by ICASA every three years.

Q: How much of South Africa’s population does the SABC cover with its three television channels?

A: Coverage is currently as follows: SABC1 - 89% SABC2 - 91% SABC3 - 77%

Q: What factors are taken into account when deciding how much time each language gets on television?

A: In determining allocation of time to each language, the SABC has due regard to: • The number of home language speakers in the coverage area of a channel • The geographical spread of the language • The extent to which members of a language community are able to understand other languages. • The extent of marginalisation of the language • The extent to which it is understood by other South Africans • Available resources.

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