There’s a petition against cutting 7de Laan to 3 days a week, but the SABC is sticking to its guns
The SABC has responded to a petition demanding it abandon its decision to cut popular Afrikaans soapie 7de Laan from five to three times a week.
The broadcaster announced last week that it was scaling back the number of episodes it airs of both 7de Laan and Muvhango.
The decision was met with anger from some fans who launched a petition to “save” the show.
“As loyal viewers and fans of one of SA's best soapies we have the right to demand that we want to continue having 7de Laan to be on air for five days and nothing less,” the petition reads.
So far it has amassed over 2,400 signatures.
“7de laan is part of our daily lives and what goes on in our country. It forms part of our heritage. It is bad enough that it is only five times a week and not seven, to change it to three times a week is disastrous. Please SABC, do not take away our pleasure of watching 7de Laan, Covid-19 has already changed too much, not this too,” wrote one viewer.
“I do not have the funds to pay for the therapy my wife will need if this show does not air Mon-Fri. Please do not take it away,” added another.
But the SABC is not backing down.
In a statement on Wednesday, the broadcaster said it had noted the petition but was confident audiences would enjoy its new telenovela Die Sentrum on the two days 7de Laan does not air.
Die Sentrum will debut on April 8 at 6pm and run on Thursday and Friday. 7de Laan will air from Mondays to Wednesdays.
It said the decision was driven by viewership statistics and part of SABC2's channel strategy to “increase and diversify its drama offering and provide audiences with entertaining, fresh, diverse and relevant local content”.
“This will also enable SABC2 to showcase different stories which represent the diversity of our nation. The new programme also offers more opportunities for independent producers to bring their creative works to the channel,” it added.
It also eased fears it could be the beginning of a slow death for 7de Laan, saying the show is not going anywhere.
“Viewers can be assured that they will not lose 7de Laan as it will still broadcast from Monday to Wednesday.”