South African Broadcasting Corporation

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(Acronym: SABC).

Till 2000*? it was officially a bilingual organisation and its name in Afrikaans was the Suid-Afrikaanse Uitsaakorporasie (SAUK). During the 1920s and early 1930s a number of investigations and commissions had been studying the potential and regulation of radio broadcasting in the country with the view of making recommendations to the government. In 1934 Sir John Reith (Director General of the BBC) was approached to advise the government on the future development of radio in South Africa. The advice was that the government found a public broadcaster for the country. This was done with the publication on 1 August 1936 of the Broadcasting Act (No 22). In terms of this act I.W. Schlesinger's African Broadcasting Company was taken over by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), which was to broadcast in English and Afrikaans on two separate services. The first broadcast in Afrikaans would only occur in 1937, while 1940 saw the first broadcast in an African language and 1950 the introduction of a commercial service (Springbok Radio?*). The SABC was to be the public broadcaster (also of television) for the rest of the century and beyond, and by 1996 was in charge of 3 television stations, 22 indigenous radio stations broadcasting in 11 languages, plus an external service (Radio RSA) broadcasting to Africa and Europe in 10 languages. In 1976 the SABC also began broadcasting television. (EC & PF) (See also Part Three, Section 1: Radio Broadcasting in South Africa and Television Broadcasting in South Africa. Sources: Eric Rosenthal, 1974; Jan Schutte, 1978; Eben Cruywagen, 2000; ****)

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