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Monday, 19 October 2009

CPUT hosts production team for countrywide student voter education campaign


On 6 and 7 October 2009 CPUT’s Bellville Campus served as the filming location for a number of television programmes on the theme of student voter education.

The programmes were commissioned by SABC Education in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DoHET) and Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) as part of a nationwide project that aims to engage students in discussions around the principles of democratic elections.

According to SABC Education Commissioning Editor Surekha Singh, the project came about as a result of a highly successful voter registration campaign for the September 2008 national elections, that included segments filmed at two South African Universities.

With several Universities holding SRC elections during the fourth quarter of 2009, the DoHET and IEC were encouraged to again partner with the SABC produce similar programmes, thereby helping South African universities ensure that their student governance elections are free and fair. CPUT was selected to represent the Western Cape Province.

Among the programmes filmed at CPUT were two live broadcasts of Shift, a daily lunchtime talk show on SABC1 in which young people and special guests discuss topics relevant to the country’s youth. The programme attracts between 800 000 and one million viewers per episode.

“Part of our campaign is to have face-to-face discussions in order to reach a wide audience, so we take Shift along,” said Singh.

The Shift broadcasts provided a forum for discussions on issues around student governance elections, including a conversation about the challenges faced by women in leadership. Discussions on lighter topics and musical inserts were also featured in the broadcast.

The discussion panels included staff and students from CPUT, students from other Western Cape universities, members of the IEC and other special guests.

The outside broadcast project has been endorsed by CPUT Head of Student Affairs Sibusiso Chalufu.

In a communication to staff and students sent prior to filming, Chalufu noted, “As Student Affairs we have welcomed the idea of the OB (outside broadcast) as we felt that it would add value and dovetail with our own SRC Elections Vibrancy Project.”

Having wrapped up filming in the Western Cape, the production team will be continuing the project at universities in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Various pre-recorded documentary programmes, based on footage shot during the outside broadcast project will be broadcast by the SABC in January 2010.

Photograph: Students watch a panel discussion being filmed as part of a live broadcast of the SABC1 lunchtime talk show Shift.

Written by CPUT News