- After the SABC cancelled the soapie last week, fans started an online petition to #Save7deLaan.
- The petition on change.org had close to 23 000 signatures on Wednesday.
- “We would like to urge SABC to reconsider the decision and renew 7de Laan,” the petition reads.
Following the SABC’s cancellation of 7de Laan on SABC 2, viewers have started an online petition, #Red7deLaan/#Save7deLaan, which had close to 23 000 signatures on Wednesday afternoon as desperate fans plead with the SABC, e.tv or kykNET to save the TV show which they call “a beacon of hope”.
The final episode of 7de Laan will be recorded on 21 October and air on 26 December.
The SABC informed the crew and cast that the Danie Odendaal Productions show was cancelled last Monday, with the public broadcaster saying the show is too expensive to keep on the air given its viewership.
7de Laan had 1.19 million viewers in June, making it the most-watched Afrikaans show on South African television and the second-most-watched show on SABC 2 after Muvhango with 1.4 million viewers.
This is the second time a 7de Laan petition on change.org has gone viral.
In January 2021, when news leaked that SABC 2 was cutting the show from five to three episodes per week from April 2021, the petition amassed thousands of signatures and comments from concerned viewers.
At the time, the SABC said it was aware that a “public petition was circulated in an attempt to prevent the SABC from diversifying its content on SABC 2”. The petition worked, and six months later, 7de Laan returned to five episodes per week.
The latest petition on change.org, started by Jermaine Christians, reads: “The SABC decided not to renew 7de Laan for the next season. We, as the loyal viewers, completely disagree, with no reasons provided, why 7de Laan has not been renewed for another season.”
“The show has reached so many milestones 23 years on air, 24 seasons and even 5000 episodes. This is not the first time that viewers see the soapie being attacked by the SABC. This is not just an attack on us as loyal fans and viewers but on the Afrikaans community as well. This soapie is known for its large road show campaigns to interact with fans and viewers.”
“We would like to urge SABC to reconsider the decision and renew 7de Laan. The success behind the show comes from real-life storylines, multiculturalism and catering for the needs of every South African who could relate. We, the fans of 7de Laan, would like to urge other production houses such as e.tv or even kykNET to buy into the idea of 7de Laan not just saving the jobs of cast members, the crew but also the number 1 Afrikaans soapie in South Africa.”
“Just the idea that +- 120 people could be left jobless in a country with an already failing economy is sickening, to say the least.”
“This is not just about the entertainment but also the beacon of hope this soapie was to so many when it came to job creation with their yearly internship programme.”
“This is not the first time SABC tried calling off the shots when it comes to 7deLaan, and therefore we plead with other production houses to make use of this opportunity to try and #Save7deLaan for good this time.”
On Tuesday, the SABC was asked for comment about the new 7de Laan petition but didn’t respond to the media query.