SABC2: “citizen-focused programming’


Assuming leadership of SABC2, the national broadcaster’s news, lifestyle and
entertainment channel for Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda and Afrikaans content
(with some imported English-language material), is Gerhard Pretorius, a quarter-
century veteran of the film and television industry.

“I started my career in television at Sonneblom Films in 1989, working on a
number of feature films,’ Pretorius says.

“I then freelanced on a number of natural history programmes and had the
wonderful privilege to work with Disney, National Geographic and Discovery
during that time. The following 20 or so years in the industry I worked in
production, post-production and content creation, including scripting new
material and reversioning existing content. I joined the SABC as a producer at
Content Hub Reversioning and Repurposing in 2006. Thereafter I became a
commissioning editor and programme manager of local content at Content Hub. I
acted as the GM: Content for almost two years before joining SABC2 in
September 2013 (as acting Head). In my 25th year in television, I bring a broad
range of skills within the production and broadcast environment.’

Of the tasks and requirements of his new position, Pretorius says: “The SABC is
always driven by its public service objectives which are further supported by its
commitment to the ICASA mandate. My position at SABC2 is to entrench it as the
channel for the nation, reflecting our diverse society and its need to be
entertained, educated and informed. SABC as a network continues to be the
market leader in providing the majority of South Africans with their
entertainment and information. I will support the network and continue to
deliver a compelling public broadcast service in this ever changing South African
broadcast landscape.’

When it comes to programming, Pretorius is focusing on increasing both the
quantity and quality of new local content on SABC2. “The channel hopes to
provide more content that reflects the common space that many South Africans
find themselves in, whether in the home, work or play environment,’ he says. “I
want to ensure that the channel’s pillar programming evolves with the country
and our viewers… Our menu is designed to feed the hunger of South Africans for
exceptional programming – from comedy to lifestyle to health to drama.

“As the multi-channel environment evolves, we have to ensure that quality
diverse local content dominates our screens. We are not only faced with
revenue fragmentation, but audiences will require innovation to satisfy their
ever-changing needs. SABC2 will strive to meet these needs by providing high
quality, excellent and novel local and international content.

“To me, this is achievable if we stay firm in our belief that South Africans are a
diverse family that can come together to share experiences. We must also not
forget that as a public broadcasting service, we exist in a highly regulated
environment and our strategies will evolve to meet those regulations.’

Pretorius concludes: “I am privileged to be supported by a team of committed,
creative, passionate individuals at SABC2 and we plan to create partnerships
with the independent content producing industry, our audience and various
stakeholders to create compelling, cutting-edge, citizen-focused programming
that will make us all proud of being South African. I can’t give much away, except
to say… stay tuned to SABC2!’


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